Govt Wants Google’s Project Loon & Microsoft’s White Space in India, But Only After Security Clearances
The see-saw movement pertaining to expansion of path-breaking technology formulated by Google and Microsoft took an interesting turn yesterday when the Indian Government made it clear that they cannot compromise on India’s security.
As per the latest statements issued by the Government, it is now clear that they want such technology to flourish and to positively impact Indians; but they cannot allow this to happen at the cost of security priorities of India. Latest threats from terrorists and increasing unrest at the border may have been a deciding factor in this new development.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has openly stated that he is quite liberal when it comes to adapting newer technology as he said, “.. Let there be pilots, Project Loon and Microsoft’s project (White Spaces), let the new experimentation happen… I am very open with experimentation of new products,”
Last month, Minister Prasad had said that the frequencies on which Google’s Project Loon is attempting to create a network of Internet can have an issue pertaining to clearance. He had shared that existing cellular companies are already using this frequency, and “it can lead to interference with cellular transmissions,”.
Google’s Project Loon is an innovative experiment using which a massive network of balloons would be placed on the edge of the space, which is seamlessly broadcast wireless Internet to remote rural areas and interior of the country.
India’s Security is Paramount
When a reporter asked the Minister about security concerns, he promptly replied, “They need (clearances). They are in process, there are many requests but let them formally come to us. Satya (Nadella) had also come to us, they are also very open, some (pilots) they have started in Andhra Pradesh and then Sundar Pichai also had come… Let them come.”
Although this statement has ample amount of ambiguity; but it makes it clear that Government doesn’t want the technology conglomerates to leave India; but at the same time they want them to realize that security concerns are as important as expansion of their new technology.
However, Google has already made it clear that their Project Loon has no disadvantages related to the security and interference of frequencies for existing cellular networks. As per Google, network sharing is a phenomenon which has been solved across the globe, and there is definitely a solution present to avoid conflicts.
The recent controversy on Google’s Project Loon hold special significance, after Google in November, 2015, declared that Indian Govt. has approved their project. But within a month, Minister Prasad complained about the frequency overlapping and threat to national security; after which there has been a constant doubt over this project.
Microsoft’s new project involves using White Space technology to provide wider access to Internet in rural areas. For this, Microsoft is seeking free unlicensed access to White Space spectrum; and there has been uncertainty in this demand.
However, Indian Government is also considering to use White Space technology for spreading Internet and to increase 4G speeds in the country.
Will Indian Government approve all requests made by Google and Microsoft in order to expand their newer technology into India? Will these multi-billion dollar corporations work around a way so that India’s national security is not compromised?
We will keep you updated as more details come in..