Google is pushing forward with its Project Loon plans to bring Internet access to remote parts of India as The Economic Times today reported the company is currently in talks with local telecommunications providers.
The publication spoke with Google India chief Rajan Ananda who confirmed the talks with local providers for Loon without naming specific companies, but the report noted telco BSNL among other unnamed companies are actively included in the discussions.
You’re going to see us do more and more investments here,” For the Loon project — the balloon-powered program that aims to provide internet access to remote parts of the country — Google is currently in talks with local telcos such as BSNL as it looks to pilot the program in India, according to people aware of the discussions, who declined to be named. Anandan declined to comment on the service providers that Google is in talks with.
Ananda added that government in the area has been “very supportive,” but that a deal with local telcos will be necessary for the launch of Loon because “the actual provisioning of the service is done by a local telco”:
We can’t do a Loon pilot without partnering with a local telco. We are talking to a number of them,” he said. “The government has been very supportive — we are working on a pilot and we are working our way through it. In India, the important thing is to work through things,” he added.
“To me Loon works — but at a simplistic level, it is infrastructure in the sky. And we’ll partner with a local telco. Because the actual provisioning of the service is done by a local telco. So, we’re talking to a number of local telcos.
Earlier this month, Google’s Project Loon team showed off its Puerto Rico-based autolauncher system for the Internet-delivery balloons that is said are now able to deliver video streaming capable speeds.
In addition to its work in India where it hopes to launch a new pilot program following tests it’s done in New Zealand, California, and Brazil, the company announced late last year that it was partnering with three carriers to begin testing in Indonesia and elsewhere.
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