Telkom Kenya partners with Loon LLC to launch first Loon commercial service in Africa
SEE ALSO :Ousted Majority leader vows to stay put“We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon’s balloon-powered Internet in Africa,” said CEO Mareuse, adding that that will further enhance Telkom’s network to its customers. The Loon service is an innovative approach to providing extended 4G/LTE coverage to rural and suburban areas with lower population densities, using high altitude balloons operating 20 kilometres (60,000 feet) above sea level, well above air traffic, wildlife, and weather events. The balloons act as floating cell towers, transmitting a provider’s service - in this case Telkom’s service - directly to a subscriber’s existing 4G/LTE phone below. Loon’s equipment is powered by on-board solar panels. This animation explains how Loon works. “We are extremely excited to partner with Telkom for our first engagement in Africa. Their innovative approach to serving their customers makes this collaboration an excellent fit. Loon’s mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies. We couldn’t be more pleased to start in Kenya,” Loon Chief Executive Officer Alastair Westgarth, stated. The pilot will take place within the general area of central Kenya, some of which has been difficult to service, due to mountainous and inaccessible terrain. The exact coverage areas will be determined in the coming months, and subject to the requisite regulatory approvals.