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Google loon 4G network balloons in Kenya

By Nkunja Hellen | March 23rd 2020

Loon balloons are designed to extend connectivity by travelling on the edge of space, delivering internet connection to people in rural and underdeveloped parts of the world.

The balloons float around 20km (12.4 miles) above sea levels to deliver 10 Mbps to people.

Each balloon can provide connectivity in about 80 km diameter. Each carries an antenna which relays internet signals.

The balloons can withstand UV rays, high temperatures, and other difficult atmospheric conditions. This is because they are made of polythene plastic that can last up to 100 days. The balloons are filled with helium and powered by a solar panel.

They are also designed to move by surfing wind channels hence predicting speeds and directions so they can travel.

Loon had earlier in July 2018 announced its commercial deal with Telkom Kenya to deliver connectivity to Kenyans in all parts of the country.

On Monday, March 23, President Kenyatta signed an agreement allowing Google loons to access the Kenyan airspace to enhance the 4G network coverage.

This will be very helpful to Kenyans, who will be working from home and students. Students can also access the online classes and other education materials during the COVID-19 crisis.

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