Google's Loon is putting the cloud in the clouds across Kenya

Google to deliver internet in Kenya using balloons

Loon's balloons float 20km above sea level

Loon and Telkom plan to launch the internet service next year (although this is subject to regulatory approval) and Telkom's boss Aldo Mareuse explained the telecoms business is committed to rolling out the service as quickly as possible.

Founded in 2013 as Project Loon, Google developed the technology at its "X" innovation labs.

Alphabet's Loon has partnered with Telkom Kenya for its first commercial agreement in Africa.

The company had successfully used the technology to bring Internet connectivity to people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island past year.

The pilot project will focus on central Kenya, which the operator stated is a challenging area to cover due to mountainous and inaccessible terrain. Loon and Google both fall under Alphabet now.

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The loon service use balloons would be powered by an on-board solar panel to provide fourth-generation 4G internet connectivity to areas with low population. They're created to deliver internet connectivity to low density populations, where it's just not financially viable to install traditional underground cabling and other permanent lines to properties.

Loon's balloons will float 60,000 feet (18 km) above sea level, much higher than any passenger plane, which fly at only 30,000 feet (9 km).

"We couldn't be more excited to start our journey in Kenya, and we look forward to working with mobile network partners worldwide to deliver on the promise of Loon", Westgarth said in a blog post.

Alphabet's Project Loon was a big success in Puerto Rico after they were hit by a hurricane previous year and the folks in Kenya took note of this success. Kenya's major cities and towns are covered by operator networks, but large parts of rural Kenya are not.

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