Yesterday, the research division of Alphabet Inc’s X said that they would sell their new internet technology to the state government of Andhra Pradesh, India. The newly developed network technology can provide high-speed ‘wireless’ internet to millions of users, meaning that no more laying cable is required.
The deal terms are yet to be revealed, but the agreement involves the installation of 2,000 boxes 20 kilometers or 12 miles apart. Starting next year, posts and roofs will house the installations with the ability to provide fast internet to a huge populated area. This will lead to creating a new base for offering services to Wi-Fi hotspots and cell phone towers, the endpoints accessed by the users.
The deal is an extension of Project Loon of X, which has been providing cell phone service from a network of big balloons. According to X, this service is for the rural and lowly populated areas. The balloons are able to create a link to the smartphones directly.
As for the state government, Andhra Pradesh houses about 53 million people, is located on the southeastern coast of India. A state from last December, derived by the telecom regulator of the nation, says that the state had almost 15 million high-speed Internet subscribers. Alphabet disclosed that the state wants to connect 12 million more by 2019.
X’s plan includes deploying free space optical technology for transmitting data via light beams at a speed of 20 gigabits per second. As confidently estimated by X, this would offer enough bandwidth for thousands of users simultaneously via one cellphone tower.
According to researchers, this technology is ideally useful for areas where linking cellphone towers to a wired connection is not just difficult but also expensive. The only misalignment between boxes and poor weather can weaken the connection and the technology would have to be deployed with resolving or going around these possibilities.
Barista Erkmen, the Head of the Project for X, said that they are coming up with a new approach for overcoming the challenges, although he did not go into details about software and hardware advancements. It is confirmed that X will start rolling out the technology via a small team based in Andhra Pradesh by the next year.