Google Internet balloons to go live in Indonesia

Google baloon powered Internet
Alphabet, parent company of Google, announced tie-ups with Indonesian telecom operators Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata to expand Internet connectivity in remote areas using balloons.

The initiative is part of Project Loon by Google X, Alphabet’s research division.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced the Internet initiative in Indonesia at a press meet organised at Google X headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The briefing was attended by Project Loon Vice President Mike Cassidy and representatives of the three Indonesian mobile service providers.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with more than 255 million people, two-thirds of whom have no access to the web.

Google has already tried the broadband initiative in Brazil, New Zealand and Australia with a single service provider.

The Internet search engine giant has already deployed around 1,000 internet balloons worldwide, and had flown nearly 20 million km while some of them had circled the world 20 times.

Cassidy pointed out that four billion people in the world continue to be without web access and highlighted a recent UN study, which claimed a 10 percent rise in internet penetration would mean a 1.4 percent annual increase in a country’s GDP.

Google X plans to make internet accessible to more than 100 million people in the next few years, via connections potent enough for surfing, video streaming and online shopping.