- The plant, which was announced two years ago, was now accepted by the Kenyan government.
- To use this service, a telephone and a 4G or LTE internet connection must be provided.
- Every 120 days, a new balloon will be entering Kenya by means of wind currents.
Ballon Internet technology, from Google’s sister company Loon, was launched officially in Kenya, and will provide internet service in rural areas. The technology will offer 4G telephone services to enable people to regularly make telephone or video calls and connect to social networks.
The plant, which was announced two years ago, was now accepted by the Kenyan government. This is a new technology that is being used globally for the first time. It is a technology that uses an air balloon of 20 miles (20 Km) above ground, and is equipped within the ball with the ability to communicate with the underground communication equipment of Telkom Kenya.
Its infrastructure is still being developed, but has achieved a point that Kenyans can take advantage of. To use this service, a telephone and a 4G or LTE internet connection must be provided.
The ballon is powered by solar energy, and must first be lifted like a regular balloon. With the gaps which currently exist in Kenya in internet access, they have been motivated and blown away in Central America, and took about four weeks to arrive in Kenya. The balloon has crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, and it reached the Baringo area.
Every 120 days, a new balloon will be entering Kenya by means of wind currents. This 4G balloon communication technology has been tested for 35,000 people, and for starters, the service will be available in an area of 50,000 square kilometers.
This period of coronavirus across the globe has completely changed the communication, work habits, and now the main way of carrying out daily activities, from businesses to organizations and so on through the internet. However, many rural people are especially challenged to develop normal activities. This balloon technology service arrives in areas that do not have a standard communication system.
By default, the customer will see no difference to any other service in the sense that you will not be able to determine whether this service is of ballistic technology or of groundwater communication, or even the data side. But Telkom Kenya’s head of telecommunications technology company, Mugo Kibati, says the company will try to make sure the cost of data does not differ from the original service.
When negotiations began between Kenya and the service provider, Loon, the balloon was only sitting in the sky for 60 days. Two years later, the company has upgraded the service, and now the balloon can stay in the air for up to 120 days.
There is the hope of enhancing this service even further, not only for in-balloon technology, but also for the entire service. One of the sites tested showed that video download speeds were 18.9Mbps (megabytes per second), while online upload speeds were 4.7Mbps.
This service has not been upgraded because it is new, but there is hope that it will improve. In the meantime, this service is being monitored to support communication during this coronavirus.
In addition, Kenya has plans to enable the ministry to reach other areas that have had communication challenges. In 2018, Loon Company partnered with Telkom Kenya in providing commercial services.
Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic means that all partners (Loon company, Telkom Kenya, and the state) work to secure high-speed internet service. In addition, Mugo Kibati, Chief of Telkom Kenya, said, “this is a major step in the African Internet service.”
However, some critics say it would be better if the service had been available to other African countries, as Kenya estimates that 39 million out of 48 million people are online. The Loon Company balloon was first used in Peru during the earthquake.