Earlier this month, it was reported that Google is in talks with Indian telecom operators to pilot Project Loon. However, it looks like there will be further delay piloting this project in the country.
The government of India has asked IT giant Google to submit fresh proposal for testing its high altitude balloons under the Loon Project following objections to the use of spectrum band it had proposed earlier, according to a latest report from PTI. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Google India has approached the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to conduct pilot test of Project Loon in India.
“The matter was discussed with all stakeholders and it was concluded that frequency band 700-900 Mhz to be used in the pilot test of Project Loon is being used by cellular operators and if the pilot is carried out it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions,” Prasad told the agency. He added that revised proposal form Google India with change of frequency band has not been received yet.
Project Loon is Google’s program where it beams high-speed WiFi internet via balloons down to remote areas in developing countries. As per Google, each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using 4G LTE. Rajan Anandan, Google’s Managing Director for South East Asia and India had earlier mentioned that the government has been ‘very supportive’ with this initiative. So the latest news about authorities asking to resubmit a fresh proposal comes as a surprise.