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Alphabet’s Loon balloons will provide internet to remote parts of the Amazon next year

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Its internet balloons will provide Telefónica service

Image: Alphabet

Alphabet’s Loon announced today that it has signed a new commercial agreement with Internet Para Todos Perú to provide mobile internet connectivity to parts of the Amazon rainforest in Peru starting in 2020 (via TechCrunch). Loon will use its high-altitude internet balloons to provide mobile internet from Telefónica to the selected areas. Telefónica is a part owner of Internet Para Todos Perú, a mobile infrastructure operator that is working to bring internet connectivity to remote populations in Latin America.

Alphabet’s blog says that the deployment will initially provide service to an area where nearly 200,000 people live, and that the deployment will make Peru the first country in Latin America to use high-altitude balloons to provide internet connectivity “on a sustained, non-emergency basis.”

The proposed area that will get service.
Image: Loon

Loon and Telefónica have worked together before, according to Loon’s blog. The two companies first partnered in 2014 with early tests of Loon’s technology. In 2017, they provided internet connectivity to parts of northern Peru following the El Niño floods, and this May, they contributed emergency connectivity following the 8.0 earthquake that hit Peru.

This is Loon’s third commercial contract, following one for a commercial trial in partnership Telkom Kenya and one with Telesat, a Canadian satellite company, to use Loon’s networking software to manage low Earth orbit satellites.