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Project Loon - Google's Wi-Fi balloon experiment

Google Lab, which came up with a driverless car and web-surfing eyeglasses was working from the past 18 months on what Google calls 'Project Loon'. Google launches giant balloons over New Zealand's south Island, carrying computer equipment that can create a high-speed internet infrastructure

If successful, the technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of laying fiber cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

The fully solar powred balloon fly free and out of eyesight. Each balloon would provide Internet service for an area twice the size of New York City, about 1,250 square kilometers (780 square miles).

The signals travel in the unlicensed spectrum, which means Google doesn’t have to go through the onerous regulatory processes required for Internet providers using wireless communications networks or satellites.

Google in the next phase of the trial they hope to get up to 300 balloons forming a ring on the 40th parallel south from New Zealand through Australia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.

 Google itself also stands to benifit as it expand its own empire by bringing Internet to the masses: More users means more potential Google searchers, which in turn give the company more chances to display their lucrative ads..

Update - Feb 2015 : According to a news report in February in The Times of India, Google was in talks with the Indian government to introduce Project Loon in India. Mohammad Gawdat, VP of business Innovation at Google X told the news site that the company planned to launch a commercial format that would allow coverage on “every square inch” on earth by 2016.

He also said that the company was working ‘closely’ with telcos and governments across the world to achieve this.
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