Project Loon for India?

The Indian government is considering a test of Google’s Project Loon. The pilot project might also involve use of BSNL 2.6 Ghz spectrum for downlink.

Three leading mobile service providers in Indonesia, plus authorities in Sri Lanka, also are testing Project Loon as a backhaul platform.

Can mobile service providers across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania get Long Term Evolution coverage at an order of magnitude lower costs by partnering with Google’s Project Loon?

Project Loon supporters believe that is possible.

In tests, Project Loon has partnered with mobile service providers with in-place LTE towers to provide backhaul to Project Loon balloons, along the 40th parallel.

At the 30th parallel, winds are easterly. Near the equator the winds are westerly. Presumably the same techniques would work at other latitudes.

By definition, some LTE tower infrastructure is required, as those towers provide uplink to the balloons.

But the balloons then provide LTE coverage directly to LTE-capable handsets. At this point, it likely makes sense for mobile service providers to source wholesale retail capacity on the balloons, which essentially substitute for fixed mobile cell sites.

The mobile service provider networks and towers, on the other hand, will provide Project Loon with backhaul.

Google says it can now deliver data at 5 Mbps to mobile phones, or 22 Mbps to fixed antennas.
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