19 November 2015

Africa: #Africacom2015 - Project Loon By Google to Bring Connectivity to Rural Parts of the Continent

Project Loon, the balloon-based floating internet delivery platform, is set to help bring connectivity to hard to reach parts of the continent.

This was said by Google's South Africa Country Manager Luke Mckend during a keynote that explored some of the ways in which the internet giant is looking to help bring connectivity to the continent.

"Connectivity is a challenge in one way or another in Africa; and we're all trying to solve it in different ways. Project Loon is just one project we're involved in. One of the challenges Larry Page lays out to his engineers is to make something 10 or 20 times better with the same equipment, and that's what we're doing with Loon and a tonne of other projects," said mr. Mckend.

He also added that he couldn't say anything about when Loon will be delivered in Africa, but Google was working on it.

Google is also working on Project Link, with is a shared fibre infrastructure for local carriers in Kampala, Uganda to help bring down internet cost and quality in the delivery of services that customers will benefit from.

"There's a variety of projects we're working on in Africa, to help bring additional connectivity to the continent," added Mr. McKend.

Google is best known for its search engine, but has diversified significantly to the point where it is now also a cloud service provider, an analysis software firm, a consultancy and now it is moving into the physical network infrastructure space.

Mr. McKend also commended Africans on the usage of the search engine to help them innovate and grow.

"We're seeing a lot of growth in 'how to' searches; and the main one at the moment is 'how do I make money?' We need to start looking at the opportunity that exists right now, for Africans to look at and harness the technology that sits right in front of them; to help them make money, to help them start businesses, to help them embrace digital."

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