Google to resume Sri Lanka balloon trials in November

ECONOMYNEXT – Google will resume trial balloon flights in Sri Lankan under its Project Loon aerial wireless network in November, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando said.

The Google Loon Project, which aims to make high-speed internet accessible to as many people as possible and at lower cost, was allocated the required frequency only in August, he told a news conference.

"Google will fly a balloon to Sri Lanka to resume tests in November," Fernando said.

With Google Loon, 4G LTE, a wireless communications standard that provides much higher speeds, will be available islandwide.

Google aims to have several radar-controlled balloons airborne at the same time to provide uninterrupted coverage, flying at an altitude of 75,000 feet, far above the 35,000 feet cruising height of airliners.

Fernando said they faced opposition even from government agencies in trying to implement the project.

Frequency allocation for the trial was delayed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission but Fernando said payment for frequency was not an issue.

"This is only a test run. Also the Sri Lanka government has a share in this pilot project, “he told

"So Google has no need to pay for frequency – payment is not the issue. If the test run works then we’ll get Google to pay for frequency.”

The TRC has faced difficulty in allocating frequency as the 700Mhz band is occupied by broadcasters. (COLOMBO, Sept 14, 2016)





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