Sri Lanka signs deal for Google Loon broadband floating towers

The Sri Lankan government signed an agreement with Google today to cover the island with 3G Internet under ‘Google Loon Project’. covered Project Loon after the recent visit to Sri Lanka by Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google, South East Asia & India, who spoke in detail about the network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill in coverage gaps and bring people back online after disasters.


Visiting Google vice president and project leader on Google’s Project Loon, Mike Cassidy said, “Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have Internet access covering the whole country with the government’s support. With our system we use LTE which is a common protocol most of the telcos use around the world. So anyone with a smart phone would be able to get Internet access.”


Google is expected to place 13 balloons above Sri Lanka over the next few months (One balloon is expected to last over 100 days) and Internet service providers will have to connect their network through these ‘floating towers’ which will ultimately reduce their transmission costs.


“One of the key things we do is we partner with the local telcos,” Cassidy added.


“Hopefully in a few months every person and every device on the island will be covered by 3G,” Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said in his twitter feed.


The project is handled by ICTA with the collaboration of former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya who now represents Lotus Flare, a leading mobile content provider.


The deal was signed in Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s office in Colombo with Google Loon Team Leader Mike Cassidy.

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