A pilot project meant to provide internet access to remote areas in Kenya is to be discontinued just six months after its launch. The balloons were to provide 4G internet service so people in remote areas could make voice and video calls, along with other functions taken for granted in cities, such as email.
The move follows Google’s parent-company Alphabet’s decision to close its sister firm, Loon. Loon had signed a major deal with Kenyan telecommunications company, Telkom, to bring 4G to remote parts of the country.
The BBC reports that Loon was set up to build giant balloons to beam the internet to rural areas. The project, however, failed to keep costs low enough to be sustainable.
According to the BBC, 35 self-navigating, solar-powered balloons, the size of a tennis court, were to be floated above east Africa.
The pilot technology, according to Kenya’s Telkom, will end on 1 March.
Umm Muhammed Umar