Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Project Loon Hits Speed Bumps In India
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s balloon Internet service called Project Loon has run into a roadblock in India. It is emerging that Indian government worries that Project Loon could interfere with wireless transmissions in the country if Alphabet is allowed to use the frequency band it has applied for. Interference with cellular transmissions would impact network quality, thus resulting in problems such as call drop for consumers.
To beam low-cost, high-speed Internet from the skies through its floating balloons, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) partners with telecom companies to use their cellular spectrum. However, the Indian government appears to worry about the impact of Project Loon on domestic wireless networks.
Impact on cellular transmissions
According to India’s Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the frequency band that Alphabet has proposed to use for Project Loon will cause problems to wireless transmissions in the country. It is not clear at this juncture whether that means that Alphabet will be require to alter the spectrum band requirement for Loon or be asked to shelf the project altogether.
India is one of the key markets Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is targeting with cheaper, more reliable and high-speed Internet service. With more accessible Internet, Alphabet hopes to bring more India’s online as it seeks to expand its addressable market. Besides India, Alphabet has also tested its Project Loon Internet service in Brazil, New Zealand and California.
Project Loon Internet
Project Loon uses 4G or LTE networks to transmit Internet from altitudes of about 20 kilometers to the ground. Alphabet says that each of its balloons can beam Internet that covers a ground area of about 40 km in diameter.
Titan drone Internet
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s other Internet project is called Titan, where it will beam Internet using aerial vehicles floating thousands of miles up in the skies.
Alphabet’s Hiccups in India
It is not the first time that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s moonshot initiative is running into hurdles in India. The company’s Android One initiative has also faced multiple hiccups in India with some manufacturing partners deciding to drop out of the low-cost Android phones project.
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