Google’s roof company Alphabet aimed to create an aerial wireless network with huge balloons, but it is shutting down because it cannot find a way to reduce costs sufficiently.
Google’s roof company Alphabet announced that it has shut down the giant balloon company Loon, which provides internet to areas with limited internet access. The fact that a long-term and sustainable road has not been found in the 9 years since the day it was first established is shown as the biggest factor that brought the project to an end.
Loon project is coming to an end
Loon, which started in Google’s research lab and turned into a separate Alphabet company in 2018, aimed to offer a cheaper alternative to cell towers by saving money for developing countries. At the same time, these balloons were used to provide internet access in regions where natural disasters occurred. The balloons produced in Loon were located in the stratosphere layer of the atmosphere about 20km above the ground.
Loon CEO Alistair Westgarth shared in a blog post: “Although we found many aspiring partners along the way, we didn’t find a way to cut costs enough to build a long-term, sustainable business. Developing radical new technology is inherently risky, but that’s the case. It doesn’t make it easier to report. I’m sorry to share today that Loon will be shut down. ” made statements.
By placing balloons in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Peru after the earthquake in 2019, Loon provided internet services to regions affected by natural disasters. Loon launched its first commercial internet service in Kenya last July, comprising a fleet of about 35 balloons covering an area of 50,000 square kilometers. This service will continue until March according to the agreements.