Brazilian balloons

loon1

Brazilian government is planning to use balloons to extend internet access to rural areas of the country, according to latests INPE  reports. Connecting remote areas using balloons is a project that the communication ministry is very keen to develop.

The main reasons to implement this technology are well-known, low cost, easy deployment and big reach. Therefore the deployment can be very suitable in countries with an almost inexistent infrastructure in rural areas like Brazil.

This project directly reminds us about the “Loon Project” introduced by Google last year.  However, this two projects are not related yet. The intention of the government is to work with national suppliers and import as little electronic equipment as possible, but also the competitive process for the project will be open to local and foreign parties to ensure that the best option is chosen. Tests performed by now have been done using prototypes from Altave, a start-up located in São Paulo. The next step will be define which companies will take part in the project.

Mohammen Gawdat, Google’s vice-president of corporate innovation, met the Brazilian communications minister Paulo Bernardo to talk about how Google can cooperate with this project using its know-how from “Loon Project”.

The news of the government-led, internet-giving balloon project follows a string of other technology initiatives led by the public sector in Brazil, such as creating its own safe email service, offering cloud services and building the country’s own satellite. Looks like Brazil has realized that technology has to be a cornerstone of country’s development.

For more information visit: INPE report.

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