Lunes, 22 Octubre, 2018

Alphabet's Project Loon LTE Balloons Approved For Deployment In Puerto Rico

Airmen unload water in Puerto Rico. SUBMITTED Airmen unload water in Puerto Rico. SUBMITTED
Orlondo Matamoros | Octubre 08, 2017, 21:38

Responding to a tweet asking if Tesla could help, chief executive Elon Musk answered: "The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too". It now appears this technology will be used in Puerto Rico as a way to restore cell phone services after the recent hurricane that hit the island.

In its preliminary testing Google says it can create networks that have speeds comparable to today's 3G networks - an impressive feat considering these balloons are flying twice as high as commercial airplanes.

"It is critical that we adopt a coordinated and comprehensive approach to support the rebuilding of communications infrastructure and restoration of communications services", Mr Pai said in statement.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given approval for Google parent company, Alphabet, to help Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands regain wireless service.

The system has been proven to work. To deliver the signal to people's devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner's network - the balloons can't do it alone.

Water for Puerto Rico is loaded at Kelly Field Texas Sept. 29.    A Dover C-17 landed in Puerto Rico Sept. 30
Water for Puerto Rico is loaded at Kelly Field Texas Sept. 29. A Dover C-17 landed in Puerto Rico Sept. 30

Musk agreed. Hours later, he announced he was delaying the unveiling of Tesla's new semi-truck and diverting resources, in part to "increase battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas".

Spokesperson Libby Leahy said X is making "solid progress on this next step", but the company declined to indicate a potential time frame for when the project could come online. These high-altitude balloons can provide services to remote regions with relative ease and can remain in operation for quite some time.

Earlier on Friday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced he was forming a Hurricane Recovery Task Force with an emphasis on addressing challenges facing Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

After setting up a network on the island of Vieques, off the main island of Puerto Rico, one team watched from a roof as local residents started getting text alerts from family members who had been trying to get in touch. The FCC licence will allow X to fly balloons until April 4, 2018, though it remains unclear how much of the territories in question will be covered by the experiment.

"They noticed everyone in the plaza pulling their phones out", said CEO Vanu Bose.