Google to bring its internet, energy projects to India

  13-02-2015 8:27:12 PM    Posted by Vinay

Tags :Google    internet    india    


Google said it was working with the Indian government to bring its balloon-powered internet and its kite-powered wind energy to the country.

Codenamed Project Loon, the internet project envisages use of high-altitude balloons to provide affordable internet to around five billion people globally who currently have no access.

"By 2016, we believe we can start to launch a commercial format that allows us to have coverage on every square inch of planet Earth. We are working very closely with telecom providers and governments across the world including India to see how we bring this innovation here," said Mohammad Gawdat, VP of business Innovation at Google X, a semi-secret facility of Google's that is dedicated to making major technological advancements.

The balloons travel 20km above the Earth's surface, in the stratosphere. Loon uses software algorithms to determine where the balloon needs to go depending on the direction of the wind. It started as a pilot some two years back when 30 balloons were launched from New Zealand's South Island that beamed internet to a small group of users.

Gawdat, who previously co-founded more than 15 businesses and serves as a board member for several startups, feels that incremental technology adoption wouldn't contribute to solving the massive internet access issue. "The reason I say that is because in doing incremental technology, the economics works against that. You will spend billions of dollars in deploying telecom towers. For instance, if you have a disaster like a tsunami, all of the telecom infrastructure would be destroyed and it would take 4-5 months to restore it fully," he said.

Google is also working on a wind power project. The company recently built an aeroplane-like kite tethered up to 300 metres to do a manoeuvre aided by the direction of the wind. The kite's movements generate power. "We believe through this we should be able to get a 100% improvement on the current renewable technology out there. It will be available at a much cheaper cost," Gawdat said.

It hopes to begin production in 2016. "Considering how interested India is in renewable energy, we are in talks with the government to make India one of the countries to deploy this," Gawdat said.

News from : Times of India

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