• Ed Nybble

Now thats what we call a loon!

Kenya is the first country to use a fleet of high-altitude balloons which will deliver the internet extending online access to thousands of people in the first commercial deployment of this technology.

The balloons, which hover about 12 miles up in the stratosphere — well above commercial airplanes — will initially provide a 4G LTE network connection to a nearly 31,000-square-mile area across central and western Kenya, including the capital, Nairobi, reports the New York Times.

Loon, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launched 35 balloons in recent months in preparation for Tuesday’s start. It is collaborating with Telkom Kenya, the East African nation’s third-largest carrier.

And why Kenya one asks, when the majority of the population already has access to the internet. Well, it comes down to attitude.

“Kenya is an ideal place for us to begin this new era of stratospheric communications,” Alastair Westgarth, Loon’s chief executive.“The country has been incredibly innovative about finding new ways to connect unconnected populations. As a new, innovative technology, this is a great fit.”

A loon is roughly the size of a tennis court and can last roughly 100 days before returning to earth.

To find out more, read the original article on The New York Times

Source | Daisuke Wakabayashi, The New York Times

Loon is a unit of Google's parent company Alphabet.

For more on the project, see X.company

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