Google’s Project Loon in Trouble in India; Minister Says it Interferes with Cellular Network Signals
Google’s Project Loon is one of the biggest initiatives from the Mountain View based tech giant and aims to provide internet to all through balloons in the sky.
As crazy as it sounds, the project hopes to reach millions of people currently having no access to basic services of internet. The balloons float at about 20 kilometers above the surface of the Earth for transmitting internet waves around. Having tested these in United States, New Zealand and Brazil, it make sense to tap the huge potential it has in India.
Last month Government has approved Project Look for testing purposes only, after which the full approval was going to be given.
However, it seems that testing phase has not gone too well for Project Loon. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that the frequency at which Project Loon is supposed to operate is bound to interfere with the cellular network services in the country. He said, “The proposed frequency band to be used in the Loon Project of Google is being used for cellular operations in India and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions,”.
Earlier, TRAI’s report has proved that the call drops are way above threshold, with some states being worse than the others. Ravi Shankar Prasad emphasized on the fact that there is already chaos in the telecom industry with the need to improve drastically, and Project Loon might just aggravate the problems.
Indian telecom majors have launched 4G services in India with latest one from Vodafone and Reliance Jio. Project Loon wants to administer just that, with floating balloons spreading 4G LTE network within a diameter of 40 kilometers. If this isn’t going to grab your attention now, I don’t know what will because this comes straight from sci-fi movies.
The interference comes from the fact that the balloons will be utilizing spectrum from the telecom companies to spread signals directly to the smartphones and this could come at a cost of network signals. Thinking about long term, if the cellular networks improve in the coming future and more bandwidth is available, I don’t see anything that could stop Google from successfully implementing them.
Forget huge towers and wires around, Project Loon is going to take everything in the sky and partner up with local telecom players to improve their 4G services in India. However, we just hope that a solution is found (probably use of different airwaves) so that Project Loon can spread its wings here in India.