Google had earned front pages of all the major publications when it announced Project Loon focusing on providing seamless internet experience to distant Indian towns and villages with the help of air balloons. The project was much appreciated by the government and non-governmental bodies initially; however, the Indian government said on Friday that this project might interfere with Indian cellular system.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Indian Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the frequency band that Project Loon has proposed to use, is being used for cellular transmission in India. If Google is allowed to take this initiative forward, it may cause interference in cellular transmission in the future. Mr. Prasad had replied to a query regarding technical glitches in case the government approves the Project Loon.
Under the Project Loon, Google proposes to use big balloons floating 20 KM high from earth surface, for transmitting internet services in distant towns and villages where no other means can reach. India is not the first country where Google intends to use this project. Project Loon has been tested successfully in New Zealand, Brazil and California.
According to Google, each balloon used in Project Loon can provide internet connectivity using LTE or 4G to a ground area of 40 KM diameter. The government is yet to take the last call on Project Loon.