Sri Lanka Stories July 29, 2015

Sri Lanka might become the first country in the world to have its Internet covered by Project Loon

Google’s Project Loon has been in development for a couple of years now, and it’s finally signed up its first official partner: Sri Lanka. The deal between the government of Sri Lanka and Project Loon will see the nation become the world’s first to be fully covered by Loon’s floating towers.

Sri Lanka’s IT minister, in a statement to Lanka Business Online said: “As a result of this agreement, the entire Sri Lankan island – every village from Dondra to Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high speed internet using Google Loon’s balloon technology.”

This news comes shortly after the hot-air balloon Internet tech was upgraded to act more like a mesh to provide faster, more consistent Internet coverage. They’ll launch 13 balloons over the next few months, and see the network size grow over time afterwards.

It’s a pretty exciting time for the small nation which typically has little rural coverage. Google’s balloons represent a saving in transmission costs, and will bring LTE network coverage to those who previously had nothing.

Sri Lanka Stories December 21, 2014

Android One coming to Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in the coming weeks

Google announced an initiative called Android One earlier this year that intends to bring some affordable smartphones to emerging markets, and now the Mountain View company says that the program is expanding beyond India (where it launched earlier this year in September). As noted on the company’s Asia Pacific Blog, the next few countries that will be getting Android One are three of India’s neighbors: Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

In these countries — with a combined population of over 200 million people — a wide range of manufacturers and network partners such as Banglalink will begin to sell Android One smartphones. In addition to Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, Bangladesh’s own Symphony will launch their first Android One phone with the Symphony Roar A50. All these devices will give people a high quality mobile experience for an affordable price, running stock-Android with updates from Google.

This is the company’s first step at the “next 5 billion people” it says, with these three countries comprising more than 200 million of the world’s population. A variety of manufacturers will soon begin selling Android One devices in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, including Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. But Google also says that Bangladesh-based manufacturer Symphony will be also be launching their first Android One device dubbed the Symphony Roar A50.

Recently, Karbonn committed to a long-term partnership with Android One in India, and it looks like the company is ready to push some high quality, affordable phones to a few new countries.

Sri Lanka Stories September 18, 2014

Google Maps Navigation features roll out to 20 new countries

Google is rolling outs its Maps navigation features to 20 additional countries as confirmed on the company’s website (via AndroidPolice). That means users in the new countries will have access to turn-by-turn navigation features for walking, biking, and driving directions. The full list of countries included in the latest roll out is below:

  • Angola
  • Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Fiji
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tobago*
  • Trinidad*

The navigation features are available in the new countries to Google Maps users on both Android and iOS devices. Google notes that Countries marked with asterisks include limited coverage in only some regions of the country.

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