Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Project Loon has commenced testing in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after overcoming the risk of balloon pops.
The company went through a lot of trouble trying to find the right blend of materials that would be light enough to float in the stratosphere while at the same time affordable and durable enough to not burst. During the annual Ted conference in Vancouver, Astro Teller who is the head of Alphabet’s X unit reported that they busted a lot of balloons. He also exhibited some of the balloon designs during the event.
Teller revealed that the ideal balloon that the team came up with after numerous tries, last year managed to travel around the world 19 times in more than 187 days. One of the three balloons in the project made its way into the Sri Lankan Airspace on Monday after being launched in South America. Muhunthan Canagey, the country’s government’s Chief of information and communications technology stated that Google was expected to carry out efficiency, controls and technical tests this week.
Sri Lanka previously made it clear that it did not plan to invest any finances in the project. However, the country will receive 25% stake in the project in exchange for spectrum allocated to the project. Teller pointed out that Project Loon is a major step towards faster connectivity speeds with notably higher speeds of up to 15 megabytes per second. Such internet connections are fast enough to stream content such as videos.
The benefits will also extend to the costs, where users will receive fasters speeds at lower rates. The project will also provide an opportunity for service providers to refine their services. The Sri Lankan government plans to enforce lower prices as well as the expansion of internet access to more areas of the country. Officials from the government revealed that each balloon will be in the air for around 180 days after which they will be recycled and sent back up.