The government and Google signed an agreement to cover the Island with 3G internet under ‘Google Loon project’. Google Vice President and Project Leader on GoogleX Project Loon, Mike Cassidy said Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have Internet access covering the whole country with the government support. IT Minister Mangala Samaraweera said as a result of this agreement, the entire Sri Lankan island – every village from Dondra to Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high speed internet using Google Loon’s balloon technology.
The government has a 25 percent stake in a joint venture with Google to deliver a high-speed Internet service powered by helium-filled balloons.
Sri Lanka is not investing any capital, but will take the stake in return for allocating spectrum for the project. A further 10 percent of the joint venture would be offered to existing telephone service providers on the island. It promises to extend coverage and cheaper rates for data services. Service providers will be able to access higher speeds and improve the quality of their existing service once the balloon project is up and running.
Interntet usage in Sri Lanka
Official figures show there are 3.3 million mobile Internet connections and 630,000 fixed line Internet subscribers among more than 20 million population.
Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to introduce mobile phones in 1989 and the first to roll out a 3G network in 2004. It was also the first in the region to unveil a 4G network two years ago.
How Google balloons work?
Google’s balloons are essentially a network of solar-powered, airborne cell towers floating at a height of around 20 kilometers (12 miles), or roughly twice as high as planes fly. The network draws its own connectivity from ground stations and passes it on balloon-to-balloon — people then connect to the balloon using a phone or other 4G/LTE-capable device.
See more from Google Loon Page