Balloons to Transmit Speedy Wi-Fi to Sri Lanka
Each balloon is equipped with solar panels to power communications gear that transmits LTE Internet signals.
We first learned about Google's Project Loon back in 2013. It consists of a network of high-flying balloons designed to transmit cellular phone signals and deliver Internet to the two-thirds of the Earth that lacks a connection.
Well, that was two years ago, and this week, Google and Sri Lanka announced a partnership to bring high-speed Internet access to every corner of the 25,332 square-mile country.
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With 2.8 million mobile Internet connections and 606,000 fixed line Internet subscribers, Sri Lanka will become the first country to give universal access to its people via Google Loon.
The balloon network, expected to go up in March of 2016, will float about 12.4 miles above Earth. Each balloon is equipped with solar panels to power communications gear that transmits LTE Internet signals.
The signals beamed to Earth from each balloon will cover a 25-mile-diameter area.
"The entire Sri Lankan island - every village from (southern) Dondra to (northern) Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high-speed Internet using Google Loon's balloon technology," foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told AFP Relax News.
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This ambitious high-tech project is not Sri Lanka's first. The island nation, home to more than 20 million people, was the first country in South Asia to introduce mobile phones (1989), the first to offer a 3G network (2004) and the first to advance to 4G (2013).