Google parent Alphabet shuts Project Loon to beam internet from high-altitude balloons

Alphabet shuts Internet balloon project Loon

"Some of Loon's technology - like the high bandwidth (20Gbps+) optical communication links that were first used to beam a connection between balloons bopping in the stratosphere - already lives on in Project Taara", Teller said. Two small new studies suggest that some variants of the coronavirus may pose unexpected challenges to the immune system, even in those who have been vaccinated - a development that most scientists had not anticipated seeing for months, even years.

Google parent Alphabet Inc is shutting down its internet balloon business, Loon, which aimed to provide a less expensive alternative to cell towers, saying on Thursday that it was not commercially viable. The company said it failed to find a long term sustainable business model for Loon.

The project was born out of X, Alphabet's self-described moonshot factory for experimental projects, which has also developed the company's driverless vehicle and delivery drone services.

According to Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth's blog post via Medium, the company has the means and ways to move forward with its balloon internet-beaming service but its costs were too much, especially to charge the public. The idea behind Loon was to bring cellular connectivity to remote parts of the world where building a traditional mobile network would be too hard and too costly. The giant hot-air balloons, made from sheets of polyethylene, are the size of tennis courts.


Loon launched a pilot project in Kenya in 2020, years behind schedule after regulatory delays.

In 2019, a division of SoftBank Corp invested $125 million in Loon.

Loon spent years flying its helium balloons around the planet and spending Google's money. Last year, it announced the first commercial deployment of the technology with Telkom Kenya to provide a 4G LTE network connection to a almost 31,000-square-mile area across central and western Kenya, including the capital, Nairobi. Alphabet will also take some of Loon's technology and share this and other lessons it has learned with others. The firm announced today that its Project Loon will be winding down, with the costs of developing and deploying this type of technology proving unsustainable for the long-term. However, this was not the only loss Alphabet has incurred for the recent time, reporting to observe more companies and ventures to close. Alphabet has lobbied some "bets" to raise funds from other investors or become self-sufficient. This is one of Google and Alphabet's unique projects that averted the normal features or situations in terms of services, as it uses a different approach.

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