Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Google's Project Loon explores balloon-powered Internet access

16 June 2013, 10:00

New Zealand - Google Inc has launched a small network of balloons over the Southern Hemisphere in an experiment it hopes could bring reliable Internet access to the world's most remote regions, the company said late Friday.

The pilot program, Project Loon, took off this month from New Zealand's South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) - twice as high as airplanes - above the ground, Google said.

Like the Internet search engine for which Google is best known, Project Loon uses algorithms to determine where the balloons need to go, then moves them into winds blowing in the desired direction, the company said.

By moving with the wind, the balloons form a network of airborne hot spots that can deliver Internet access over a broad area at speeds comparable to 3G using open radio frequency bands, Google said.

To connect to the balloon network, a special Internet antenna is attached to buildings below.

The Mountain View, Calif-based company announced the project on its official blogand its website

The 30 balloons deployed in New Zealand this month will beam Internet to a small group of pilot testers and be used to refine the technology and shape the next phase of Project Loon, Google said.

Google did not say what it was spending on the pilot project or how much a global network of balloons might cost.

Google has also developed self-driving vehicles, which the company says could significantly increase driving safety.

Those vehicles are beginning to gain support from lawmakers in places like California, where a bill legalizing their operation on state roads was signed into law last by Governor Jerry Brown.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...