Published on: 8th Feb 2016
The Sri Lankan government has said that it plans to buy a 25 percent stake in the local arm of Google’s Project Loon to deliver internet connectivity via balloons.
Telecommunications minister Harin Fernando said that testing of the Project Loon scheme will start later this month that will provide free internet to Ratmalana, a suburb of Colombo.
The trial could last up to a year.
The government plans to buy a quarter of the operations, and will also offer 10 percent of the joint-venture to the local telecoms operators.
The balloons will float twice as high as commercial aircraft and should be able to stay afloat for up to 6 months before needing replenishing. The aim is to broadcast internet connectivity over a wide area at low cost, boosting coverage in rural areas.
The service should launch to customers in March.