Google Announces Plans for Projects Titan, Loon and Link
Once a year, top players in the mobile sphere gather for MWC, to show off what they’ve been working on and collectively set the standard for the year to come. Yesterday was a big day with the launch of HTC and Samsung’s flagships, alongside numerous other announcements, and today it was Google’s turn to take the stage. SVP Sundar Pichai took the stage in Barcelona to speak about Google’s network initiatives, Project Link and Project Loon, as well as to announce a new initiative called Project Titan.
Sundar began by talking about how most of the world remained offline or on low-speed networks, which led to the inception of Google Fiber. Last year, Project Link was undertaken, an offspring of Fiber which aimed to connect Uganda to long distance fiber lines to serve entire cities while giving providers a platform on which to build innovative new services and creating a foundation for growth to help people get online. Project Link has seen overwhelming success, and will expand to other countries in Africa this year.
Four years ago, Project Loon began as an experimental idea to being balloon powered networks and LTE connectivity to many rural areas. When testing began in New Zealand two years ago, these balloons were not able to stay up for more than 5 days, when the viable duration was three months. However, Sundar announced that in the time since then, the balloons have evolved and are now able to stay up for six months at a time. In lieu of this, the project aims to go commercial soon, via tie-ups with Vodafone and Telstra in Australia.
Going forward, Google is undertaking a new initiative called Project Titan. Sundar announced that “Titan is where Loon was two years ago.” The project aim is somewhat similar to that of Project Loon but relies on lightweight solar airplanes rather than balloons to act as flying towers. The combined mesh of planes and balloons will work together to bring high-speed connectivity to remote and rural areas.
Did Google’s kicking it up a notch put them in the driving seat of network connectivity? Are you excited for plane and balloon powered networks? Let us know in the comments below!