Loon balloons provided a 4G Internet destroyed after Peru earthquake


At the end of may 2019 in Peru, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 — in some regions, completely shut down the Internet, while thousands of people needed to know the status of their loved ones. To establish the network, the government and local Telecom operator Tefónica appealed for help to the company Loon (like Google, is a holding company Alphabet), so she gave the Internet with the help of his balloons. Extra to repair the Internet failed within 48 hours.

The tremors occurred on Sunday morning, and received a request for assistance, the company Loon immediately redirect their balloons from Puerto Rico to Peru. To move them, as usual, used the force of the wind, the balloons can rise and fall and catch the wind flows in the direction in which they need to move. To overcome more than 3000 kilometers of the devices took two days.

The company Loon restored the Internet in Peru

Loon balloons spread throughout the Northern part of Peru — each of them has provided a 4G Internet zone area of 5,000 square kilometers. With the ground station was linked to only one balloon that is connected to and transmit signals to other devices. The company had previously demonstrated only the ability to transmit signals between the seven balloons, but this time their number reached ten.

Location Loon balloons to Peru

The company was able to provide the residents of Peru basic set of communication: SMS, email and Internet access with a minimum speed. Connecting to the network, users have access to only text information — the Internet is not designed for making calls. Within the first 48 hours Internet from balloons Loon benefited about 20,000 people.

In which countries is the Internet with the balloons?

At the moment the company is officially Loon works only with one provider of wireless Internet provider Telkom Kenya Kenya. However, after emergency events in commercial services, the company may be interested and Telefonica. As a rule, the deployment of the Internet on the balloons it takes quite a long time due to the need to establish the ground infrastructure, network integration, Telecom operator, and receiving permission from the regulatory authorities. But, in the case of Peru, it may take less time.

The complexity of network deployment Loon was proved in 2017, when it tried to establish in Puerto Rico after hurricane “Maria”. The Federal communications Commission gave permission for the provision of emergency communication only three weeks after the start of service — ultimately network provided with the Internet 100 000 people. According to representatives of the emergency readiness more important than reaction speed.

It is noteworthy that before the company Loon was the usual subdivision of research of Google X. About the secret “X lab”, you can read in our material.

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