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DGCA to look into Google’s balloon-powered internet project soon

October 12, 2017

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be analysing Google’s Project Loon, which aims to provide internet through balloons. The DGCAs study will be looking at the aspects pertaining to rules and regulations from a civil aviation perspective.

According to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the company had requested allocation of frequencies in the 700-MHz spectrum band to test the services. The government, though, is adamant on not allotting airwaves except through auctions. However, last year, the government approved testing of Project Loon under the vigilance of a committee headed by the IT secretary. Rather than allocating spectrum to Google, the government suggested that the company partner with a telecom operator to resolve spectrum issues.

Project Loon would use balloons floating 20 km above surface for transmission of internet services. The technology, used for LTE services, has potential to replace mobile towers as it can directly transmit signals on 4G mobile phones. This technology has already been tested in New Zealand, the US and Brazil.


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