Monday, April 20, 2015

Google Project Loon Now Can Mass Produce Internet Balloons: Launch Coming?

Google "Project Loon," the anticipated effort to launch a constellation of unmanned balloons able to provide Internet access across the global south, now is able to mass produce the balloons in a matter of hours, where it once took three to four days to make a single balloon. 

That sounds like Porject Loon getting ready to launch a full constellation. 

With a few new low earth orbit satellite constellations also preparing to launch in coming years, competition in the Internet access business is heating up in a profound way, posing a challenge to mobile operators who once were thought to be the logical suppliers of Internet access across much of the global south. 

Still, Project Loon appears to be testing the use of mobile Long Term Evolution cell towers for backhaul. At the very least, Project Loon, in a commercial phase, could be a wholesale customer for many mobile service providers across the global south. 

Conversely, Project Loon could be a wholesale provider to mobile service providers, who would use the constellation to provide branded retail Internet access service. 

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