Google has spent years researching how to offer Internet connection in remote areas of the planet. For this purpose, it launched the “Project Loon” service through X, a subsidiary of the parent company Alphabet, previously known as Google X, with which it set out to achieve its purpose with hot air balloons. Now, what seemed like a chimera is a reality. Thanks to the Project Loon, it has been possible to return basic connectivity to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico, after a few months ago the American island suffered Hurricane Maria, one of the most devastating in recent years. To achieve this, they have had the collaboration of T-Mobile and AT & T to offer an emergency network in the most affected areas, as reported by X through the social network Twitter.
Project Loon bases its activity on the use of a network of pressurized atmospheric globes that are located in the stratosphere, at a height of between 10 and 50 kilometers above sea level. This system has guaranteed “basic communication” and Internet activities for “some users” with telephones equipped with the LTE wireless standard, which can send text messages and access information online. The main problem is that the balloons only work with solar energy, so when the night falls the service does not work.
According to AT & T, more than 60% of the population in Puerto Rico is connected again thanks to mobile networks. The service of Project Loon began on September 20 and after almost two months of operation it is already offering some very important data.
The subsidiary of Alphabet has also detailed that this is “the first time” that uses its algorithms based on “machine learning” to keep balloons grouped over a specific territory. X says he will continue to offer the service “as long as possible” in those areas that need it.