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Google to test its Project Loon balloons over Australia

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Google next month will be traveling to Australia in an attempt to show that a string of balloons in orbit around Earth can provide Internet access to people in normally unreachable areas.

In its latest test of Project Loon, the search giant is teaming up with Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications provider, to send off 20 balloons in a test flight in western Queensland in December, Google said, confirming a story by The Guardian.

The balloons themselves are equipped with antennas that direct Wi-Fi signals to homes and mobile devices on the ground. For the test in Australia, Telstra will provide the needed base stations and access to the required spectrum space, The Guardian reported.

And just why is Google doing this?

The search giant believes that Project Loon can deliver Internet access to areas around the world where more conventional means of access are unfeasible or too expensive.

Officially unveiled in June of 2013, the project works by sending the solar-powered, remote-controlled balloons 12 miles above the Earth. Using built-in technology, the balloons then communicate with antennas and base stations on the ground to deliver the necessary access.

The goal, as defined by Google, is to “connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps and bring people back online after disasters.”

Source: Cnet


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