Google Project Loon, an initiative that uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km (11 mi) to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds is moving to another East Africa country and this time, it will be established in Uganda.
After Google’s Project Loon sealed a deal with Kenyan telecommunications operators to provide balloon-powered internet to regions of central Kenya, the firm is working to extend its services to Uganda.
Early this week, stakeholders from the National Information Technology Authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Defence & Veterinary Affairs, Ministry of Security and the EAC Civil Aviation & Security Oversight Agency met with Project Loon team to discuss how internet access in the rural and remote areas of Uganda can be enhanced.
Project Loon is a Research and Development project being developed by X formerly known as Google X which is targeted at providing internet access to rural and remote areas.
The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 50,000 feet to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds. The project has so far launched in over 19 countries. In East Africa, flights commenced in Kenya and Project Loon is exploring opportunities in Uganda.
Speaking at the event, Vivian Ddambya from Ministry of Information Communications Technology, and National Guidance, Uganda, stressed that the Government of Uganda has placed a high premium on internet access as an enabler for large areas of the country to access government and other services that are provided by the private sector.
She highlighted some of the sectors where expansion and reach will be enhanced by the availability and access to the internet including financial, health, education, disaster management and recovery among other social economic human endeavours.
Also, United States Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac welcomed the entry of Project Loon into the Ugandan market. “Bringing internet to rural areas in Uganda remains a big challenge. The presence of Project Loon here today is an important step towards connecting remote populations,’ she said.
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