Google’s parent Alphabet Inc’s X research division announced that the Andhra Pradesh state government would buy its newly developed Internet technology which is capable of providing high-speed wireless Internet to millions of people without laying cable. X plans to have a small team based in Andhra Pradesh next year to help roll out the technology.
For this, Google X will set up its development centre in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, which will be its first development centre outside the US.
The agreement is an outgrowth of X’s Project Loon, which many times has beamed cell phone service to Earth from a network of large balloons. The balloons link directly to smartphones but are meant for rural areas with a low population density.
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, the agreement, which comes into force next year, would see 2,000 boxes installed as far as 20 kilometres (12 miles) apart on posts and roofs to bring fast Internet connection to populated areas. The idea is to create a new backbone to supply service to cell phone towers and WiFi hotspots, endpoints that users would then access.
Consequently, X plans to deploy free space optical technology, which transmits data through light beams at up to 20 gigabits per second between the rooftop boxes. There would be enough bandwidth for thousands of users to connect to the Internet simultaneously through the same cellphone tower, as per X.
More On Google, Alphabet And Its India Plans
According to a report by India’s telecom regulator, Andhra Pradesh, a state with 53 Mn people, had nearly 15 Mn high-speed Internet subscribers as of last December. Alphabet stated that the state wants to connect an additional 12 Mn households by 2019. This is also in lie with Alphabet’s strategy of providing increasing internet accessibility in developing countries in order to maintain their fast-growing businesses by bringing in more users online. However while researchers believe that the technology is promising in areas where linking cell phone towers to a wired connection is expensive and difficult, yet it has not taken off because poor weather or misalignment between the boxes can weaken the connection.