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Project Loon Launches Super-pressure Internet Balloons into Indonesian Skies

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Google is on course to place enough super-pressure internet-beaming balloons into the sky in a bid to bring cheap and affordable internet services to the entire world.

With these balloons, Google’s Project Loon will be able to offer continuous data services to those living below them. The balloons, which were launched by the search giant into the skies of Indonesia, come in at a time when three of the country’s leading mobile networks have announced that they will be testing the transmissions of this project starting next year. Sri Lanka is also another country that signed an agreement that will also see it join the testing party of Google’s Project Loon.

According to experts, the new internet balloons’ project has more benefits when compared to other solutions of providing high-speed internet services to the millions who live in these emerging.

4G-like internet speeds

The plan about Project Loon first came into being, back in 2013, with Google launching about 30 super-pressure balloons into the skies of New Zealand. One may be asking: how do these balloons work?

Well, it’s very easy. Upon launching the balloons, they are propelled skywards to a height of about 12 miles (20km) from the ground. The balloons are then moved up and down using software in a bid to find the perfect winds that will place them into position. Each of the suspended balloons then beams internet connections down to antennas fixed on the ground.

Just beneath each of the super-pressure internet balloons you’ll find three radio transceivers for sending and receiving data streams, but only two are used with one acting as a backup option. Here, you will also find a flight computer, GPS location tracker, solar panels for powering the system as well as an altitude control system for moving the balloon up and down in order to find the perfect winds to take it into the perfect position or direction.

While the initial setup could only manage 3G-like data speeds, the just launched setup is capable of up to 10Mbit/sec, which is almost the same speed you get with 4G connections.

A cheaper option than traditional methods

According to Google, Project Loon will be a much cheaper solution when compared to installing fiber optic cables or even setting up mobile phone masts across the entirety of Indonesia’s islands that are dominated mainly by jungles and mountains. The search giant believes that with the help of this project, it will be easier to address the country’s issue of having more than 100 million people out of a possible 255 million without access to internet services.