After suffering setbacks both from the government and the telecom operators in India, Google's Project Loon might finally be taking off. The project, aimed at providing internet connectivity through balloons, will also test alternate models for providing connectivity.
Google's Project Loon has been successfully tested in various parts of the world and Google is keen on testing it in India as well. The company is in talks with the ministry of communications and IT to test the project through a pilot programme. Now, Google has been given a four-day window to conduct its tests, the Economic Times reported.
According to the report, the tests will be conducted over parts of Andhra Pradesh or Maharashtra. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been assigned the task of identifying the locations.
"We are trying to test the effectiveness of Loon in the interiors of the country, since there is already ample connectivity in urban areas," ET quoted an official as saying.
Under Project Loon, Google will use large weather balloons floating 20 km up in the air to beam down 4G signal. It has the potential to replace mobile towers and works towards providing last-mile connectivity. Each balloon, according to Google, has a footprint that's 40 km in diameter.
The project had earlier come under a lot of flak from telecom operators as well as the government. While operators were against Google being allotted a frequency occupied by telecom services, citing interference issues, the civil aviation ministry raised concerns of safety, the home ministry was worried about surveillance and the defence ministry wasn't too happy with Google's balloons floating above military establishments.