Alphabet Inc., which was originally part of Google but split to have its own focus, has decided to scrap their plans for covering the globe in WiFi balloons.
The project started back in 2013 when Google had started testing Project Loon. The goal behind this project was to set up broadband balloons all around the world in order to offer WiFi services in even the most impoverished of countries. However, Alphabet has determined that this will no longer be necessary.
Chief executives of Project Loon have determined that they can continue the project with a lot less balloons. Instead of having their focus be on providing worldwide Internet services, the services will be set in specific regions that don’t have immediate access to Internet services. At least, this is where the project will be starting. This will turn the project into a commercially profitable service much faster than if it was aimed on a global scale. This doesn’t come as a very big surprise as there have been several projects that have been toned down a little bit in order to make them a little less risky and expensive.
Chief Executive of Project Loon Astro Teller announced that the company will be looking to start somewhere in the ballpark of 20 or 30 balloons. This will make sure that the service will have a greater chance of turning a profit. They will begin testing the service with telecommunication providers in upcoming months.
So far Project Loon has gathered a lot of attention and Alphabet has already teamed up with many service providers in order to bring this project closer to a reality rather than a prototype. Despite this, there hasn’t been a whole lot of forward progress in the last couple of years. While Loon had stated that they were partnering with Indonesian telecommunication providers about two years ago, just this last August they also announced that testing hasn’t even begun in that region. There has been some testing over in Sri Lanka out of Peru.
Alphabet looks to be trimming a lot of risky projects and Loon may be the tip of the iceberg.