On Monday, March 23, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an agreement allowing Google Loon to access the Kenyan airspace to enhance the 4G network coverage in all parts of Kenyan. This partnership between Google Loon with Telkom will see Kenyans benefit from 4G connectivity in the country.
This will be very helpful to Kenyans who will be working from home and students. Students will be able to access the online classes and other education materials during the COVID-19 crisis.
What is Google Loon?
Loon Project is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, delivering connectivity to people in unserved and underserved communities around the world. This helps people from around the world, access internet easily.
Google Loon partners with mobile network operators globally to expand the reach of their LTE service(4G LTE). This helps to expand network coverage to places that lack it, supplement existing networks, and provide faster coverage after natural disasters.
The Google loon project in the country begun back in 2018. The current situation in the country following the Coronavirus outbreak might have prompted the government to fasten the project and ink the partnership with Google.
Loon delivers connectivity from balloons flying 20km up in the skies. To expand connectivity to unserved and underserved areas around the world, Loon combines advancements in materials science, atmospheric modeling, machine learning, communications systems, and more.
How to benefit from it?
Antennas transmit connectivity from ground stations, across a balloon mesh network, and back down to a user’s LTE phone. For one to benefit from the loon services, one just needs a standard LTE phone to connect to a Loon balloon.
Loons equipment are powered by Solar Panels during the day and charge an onboard battery to allow for nighttime operation.
The flight capsule holds the electronics that command and control the Loon system.
A parachute automatically deploys to guide the balloon safely back to Earth after its flight.