Google Deploys Wi-Fi Balloons in Africa and Asia
NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Google co-founder Sergey Brin opens the internet company's new office space inside historic Chelsea Market June 23, 2008 in New York City. The new space, which is across the street from the older Google office, will house around 300 employees bringing the total number of Google employees in New York City to around 1,500. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sergey Brin
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 Updated at 11:24 AM PDT
Google is working on a plan to connect a billion people in emerging markets in Africa and Asia to the Internet by using special balloons.
The new Wi-Fi would serve far-flung places like sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asia where Internet connection is unavailable, according to unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reported. The search titan will team up with local carriers in emerging markets to develop the networks, but it was unclear how many of these projects were ready to go.
Google has also been working on creating a new ecosystem of microprocessors and low-cost Android smartphones, like to benefit from the new connections. Google's Wi-Fi will be achieved by making special balloons or blimps, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles.
Google declined to comment on the project.
Google also plans to use TV broadcast airwaves with government permission and has been talking to South Africa and Kenya, according to the report. The tech titan is also mulling over a satellite-based network.
Why connect Africa and Southeast Asia? Because Google's bottom line is affected by how many users it has. The more people connecting to its search engine and multitude of services, the more ads can be seen and sold. So even if Google's effort to wire the world takes billions of dollars, it's worth it because in a few years Google will likely recoup that loss and make a profit that will last for years.