Internet-by-balloon; Google Loon launched in Kenya

Originally known as Project Loon, the technology behind the internet balloons was developed under parent company Alphabet’s experimental division, X.

Earlier this month, the business “graduated” to become a fully fledged subsidiary in its own right: Loon. As part of its first commercial agreement, Loon has pledged to bring internet access to some of Kenya’s most inaccessible regions.

The specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Much of Kenya’s population of around 49 million people is catered for by mobile coverage, but enormous sections of the country are disconnected from internet providers.

Each balloon can provide connectivity in about 80 km diameter. Each carries an antenna which relays internet signals.

The balloons can withstand UV rays, high temperatures, and other difficult atmospheric conditions.