Google internet balloons facing problems from India

Google’s internet balloons, part of Project Loon, may not be allowed to go ahead in India due to concerns about interference with existing communications network.

Project Loon, launched by Google, is facing challenges as it plans to use balloons to beam the internet across the world. Deals were recently signed by Google with Sri Lanka and Indonesia, to carry out early testing of the project. Three telecommunications companies in Indonesia have agreed to share their ability to provide network coverage.

Problems have arisen during discussions with India, which is the country with the second largest number of people without internet, with China having the most people unable to access the internet. Project Loon is considering distribution in India, but may be facing some problems with regulations before that can happen. The main telecoms official in India’s government has indicated that it may not be possible for the project to be launched in India.
The minister of communication and IT in India, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said:

“The proposed frequency band to be used in the Loon Project of Google is being used for cellular operations in India and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions.”

However, a representative of Project Loon said they believe that a balloon network can be operated on a shared spectrum without having an adverse impact on existing communications.

This is certainly an unusual use of balloons. Balloons are much more commonly used to provide balloon rides in the UK. Hot air balloon trips are often used by those who want to experience a journey of a lifetime, or perhaps as a gift for a loved one.

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