Google’s Project Loon to be Launched in Indonesia in 2016

By | Oct 30, 2015 05:01 AM EDT
Google recently unveiled a device prototype that works just like the Star Trek Communicator.

Google is developing an AI robot that will be able to make art and music.(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Good news for Indonesia! Google's parent company Alphabet has developed a new device in collaboration with three of the largest wireless network providers in Indonesia - Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata - to provide Internet coverage to two thirds of the country's population (about 100 million citizens).

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The plan, which is being called Google X: Project Loon, would reach its testing phase in 2016.

New Street Research senior analyst Jonathan Chaplin said "By far the biggest opportunity sitting in front of both companies is getting people who aren't connected to the Internet connected to the Internet, they can triple their addressable base if they can figure out how to get the remaining two thirds of the world connected."

Indonesia is the world's third most populated country. It was chosen for this project because it was observed that two-thirds of its population still have no access to the Internet. The Google's Loon Project would be made possible by launching a balloon that would help to disseminate and improve the Internet coverage throughout the country.

Research showed that only 29% of the population used moderately slow internet connection in Indonesia. The aim of Google is to get as much people to go online. The idea first came up in June 2013 in New Zealand. For the next six months, it would be tested before being released commercially. Since then, a number of countries have already signed up for the project such as Australia and Sri Lanka. The balloon would be targeting the country's 17,000-plus scattered islands.

Project Loon's vice president Mike Cassidy and Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, held a press conference on Wednesday to address inquiries about the project. They talked about the inevitable competition to be involved with the project and their plan to provide practical and efficient service rather than building towers. It has shown a promising future that can have a net worth of tens of billions if it succeeds, they noted.

Project Loon has already entered a collaboration with the government of Sri Lanka and signed a memorandum in regard with this project, as an important but cautious step of the process. It is clear that American Tech giants like Google are determined to get most of the people on line and connected with the rest of the world.

As Sergey Brin put it, "Occasionally getting out of communications range is healthy for all of us, but if it's part of your daily life and you don't have access to the information and the ability to communicate with people important to you, that's a real disadvantage."

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