Four Loon Internet Balloons Arrive in Kenya’s Airspace; Commercial Testing Kicks off
Telkom Kenya, together with Alphabet’s Loon has commenced the commercial testing of the Project Loon a month after the government gave it the go-ahead. According to the latest information, the full rollout is expected to be done “in the coming weeks.”
“Loon balloons are currently drifting over Kenya performing network testing, and preparing to bring connectivity to people who subscribe to mobile service with our partner Telkom Kenya,” said Loon CTO Sal Candido.
In a briefing about the project last month, Telkom Kenya stated that the US was to deploy them and were to arrive in the country in weeks. The recent reports have confirmed that four of them have been spotted in Eastern and coastal regions.
Loon internet will boost internet connectivity in Kenya as rural areas where the internet has been low, enabling 4G surfing in the regions without Telkom Company having to invest millions on infrastructure upgrade.
The balloons use machine learning-driven navigation algorithms to maneuver strategically throughout the day.
The President, while launching the Google Loons weeks ago, stated that his government is committed to ensuring that Kenyans in remote areas have access to internet services in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
“My administration has granted approvals that will ensure universal 4G data coverage is available throughout the country,” he said. “Google Loon, in partnership with Telkom Kenya, will help Kenyans access high-speed 4G internet services keeping Kenyans connected to emergency services wherever they are.”