Project Loon to Kickstart in Partnership With Indian Telcos; Registrations Open For Project Fi in USA
When it comes to providing alternative Internet connectivity, then Google means business, and latest updates coming in suggests that they are restless as well.
After Indian Government suggested that Google will have to partner with a local telecom provider for executing their ambitious ‘Project Loon’, decks have been cleared for implementing the same.
In an interview, Google India head Rajan Anandan has said that Google is in talks with telecom firms such as BSNL which can help to execute Project Loon sooner than expected.
Rajan said, “To me Loon works — but at a simplistic level, it is infrastructure in the sky. And we’ll partner with a local telco. Because the actual provisioning of the service is done by a local telco. So, we’re talking to a number of local telcos”, adding, “We can’t do a Loon pilot without partnering with a local telco. We are talking to a number of them,”.
He also shared that the present Indian Govt. has been very supportive for the cause, and Indian Internet users may witness some fireworks from them very soon. He shared, “The government has been very supportive — we are working on a pilot and we are working our way through it. In India, the important thing is to.. “
Besides the clause for partnering with local telcos, Govt. has also clarified that Google would need the appropriate security clearances before kick starting Project Loon. Govt. had also said that Project Loon may interfere with cellular network’s operations.
On the other hand, Google has assured that every challenge related with Project Loon can be overcome.
After TRAI banned every type of discriminatory data pricing in India, Facebook, which attempted to provide free but restricted Internet to poor Indians had to shut down their Free Basics service.
Project Fi Starts In USA Without Invite
Meanwhile, in the USA, Google has started inviting users to experience Project Fi, which is Google’s own cellular network. In a blog post, Google announced that now users in USA can easily signup for Project Fi, without any invite.
Google also shared some interesting stats about Project Fi, which was introduced 10 months ago, in partnership with telecom players, hardware manufacturers and local businesses.
Some interesting highlights:
- Fi users tend to travel a lot; and an average user consumes 1.6 GB of data in a month. Overall, Fi users have travelled 120 countries and used Google’s own cellular network
- For $20/month, users can consume unlimited text and voice; in case there is any unused data, the user shall be refunded back
- Over 50% of Project Fi customers use public WiFi to access the services
- Project Fi users are more creative, more aware (90% of them came back to see their usage) and more tech-friendly
In case Project Loon is approved shortly, then we may expect Google’s Project Fi to be launched as well.