Telkom Kenya in collaboration with Google parent company Aphabet has officially launched a network of 4G internet balloons, making Kenya the first country in the world to commercially test the viability of the innovation in taking internet to rural communities.

Speaking during the launch on July 8 at Radat, Mogotio constituency, Baringo County, ICT Cabinet Secretary said the Google Loon initiative will be transformational in unlocking rural economies by helping bridge the huge internet access gap in the country. 

 “Kenya has spent a lot in trying to provide universal internet coverage but the technology has been relying on terrestrial base stations. Now we are moving to aerial base stations to cover unservserd and underserved regions,” Mr Mucheru noted.

The balloons, which were sent to Kenya through the sea route from California, United States, 15,388 kilometres away, entered the Kenyan airspace through Mombasa, with the first one appearing on March 14, after clearance from the Communications Authority, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Kenya Air Force.

Loon said it aims to offer a third layer of connectivity to help get more people connected to the internet worldwide.

 “This is the culmination of years of work and collaboration between Loon, Telkom, and the Kenyan government,” said Loon’s chief executive officer, Alastair Westgarth, expressing his delight inn ushering in Africa’s first application of the technology.

There are now 10 internet balloons flying 60,000 feet above the ground, beaming internet to peoples’ mobile phones living in a 50,000 square kilometre region.

The initial plan will be providing internet to residents of Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, Uasin Gishu, Bomet, Narok, Nakuru and Baringo counties where poor internet access curtails the right to information while derailing the mass utilization of online platforms to make life easier.

“I feel proud for Kenya to be selected to lead the way to ensuring total inclusion for internet access. I appreciate the initiative by Telkom since it now means more businesses can be conducted online in remote villages,” said acting Director General of Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Ms Mercy Wanjau.

Telkom’s chief executive Mugo Kibati said the balloons are solar powered and wind controlled, emphasizing that the model is the most applicable in Kenya’s quest in addressing the internet connectivity inequality.

“The speed of internet ranges from 18-20 megabytes per second for downlink and 4-9 mbps for uplink with a latency of 19ms,” he said, adding that innovations that narrow the economic gap will be needed as Kenya gears up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.To enjoy the service, users will be required to purchase a Telkom sim card and subscribe to an internet bundle of their choice.

Telkom, compared to its competitors, have the most affordable internet, where for Sh50, a user can purchase 700 mbs of data.However, the service is available from 6:00 am and automatically goes off at 9:00 pm when the balloons, which consume high solar power energy to keep users online, exhaust their stored power.


“The balloons can only continue transmitting internet for a maximum of 3 hours after sunset,” said George Mulaghui, Telkom’s chied information officer. The ballons stay up in the air for over 100 days before coming back down to earth.

Kenya is seventh in Africa in the internet affordability index but second after Madagascar in internet speed, boasting of the highest smartphone penetration in the continent, according to the World Bank Digital Report for Kenya of 2019, making it a good choice to pilot the program.

Eddy Njoroge, Telkom’s board chair said Silicon Savannah has marked a moment in history where higher connectivity will be key to emerging stronger from the economic contraction cause by Covid-19.

“In the new normal, schools are closed and only the well-off families can afford e-learning programs. This launch is a big step to enable several rural schools to access digital education and keep learners in class,” he remarked.

The telcos chief technology and information officer John Barorot said the entire Loon project relies on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning algorithms to monitor the movement of the balloons.

“The balloons will send stray internet signals to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as their governments allowed us, but once they cross Kenya to Tanzania the signals will automatically switch off. This has been enabled by AI,” he said.

Mr Mucheru said that time was ripe for the country move very fast to guarantee countrywide connectivity, with Telkom saying there will be 35 balloons in Kenya at the end of August.

Zenah Chesire, a resident of Radat, said she has been struggling to sell her honey online due to the previous poor 3G network connectivity.

“With the market place, I can broaden my customer base and make more money,” the mother of two said. 

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis said creativity and innovation is the way to go during the current disruption, encouraging farmers to use the opportunity to boost their incomes.

“With such a connectivity, farmers can get information on weather patterns and seasons and plan ahead. This helps them in decision making regarding their produce,” he said.

However, Mr Mucheru said there are still hurdles in Kenya’s plan to take the internet to the villages due to the high price of smartphones.

“We will be working with the CA for a way to lower the cost of devices. The aim is to have as many Kenyans as possible accessing the internet via their devices,” he said.

If well implemented across all counties, and the cost of internet lowered, it could be a catalyst to enhancing efforts towards more access to e-learning, telemedicine, fintech, insurtech, online agribusiness while ensuring more Kenyans are involved in the take-off of Industry 4.0 by innovating solutions around the digital economy.  ​​


author

86 Comments

  • DavidLal, July 7, 2021 @ 10:04 pm

    https://ivermectinstr.com/# ivermectin 1 topical cream

  • Mariojendy, July 25, 2021 @ 2:17 am

    lasix uses lasix pills – furosemide 100 mg

  • Mariojendy, July 26, 2021 @ 3:11 pm

    furosemida 40 mg cheap lasix – furosemide 100mg

  • WilliamCof, July 29, 2021 @ 7:24 am

    cialis for daily use where to get free samples of cialis – what is cialis black

  • WilliamRab, July 30, 2021 @ 8:38 pm

    free adult personals site
    [url=”http://onlinedatinglook.com/?”]adult personals free [/url]

  • WilliamCof, July 30, 2021 @ 9:33 pm

    cialis generic china viagra cialis melbourne site:au CialisCND20Mg – cialis free sample

  • best gay dating sites 2021, August 3, 2021 @ 12:40 am

    Many thanks for sharing this amazing web page. https://gaydatingzz.com/

  • RonaldMog, August 6, 2021 @ 4:35 am

    overnight viagra delivery us viagra vs levitra vs cialis reviews – melbourne viagra

  • RonaldMog, August 8, 2021 @ 1:54 am

    gas station viagra buy viagra online with free delivery – viagra replacment

  • is almond milk keto, August 8, 2021 @ 3:05 am

  • KevinCon, August 8, 2021 @ 8:33 am

    gay guy dating lesbian girl
    i’m dating a gay asian man
    [url=”http://gaychatus.com?”]overseas gay dating[/url]

  • RonaldMog, August 9, 2021 @ 12:06 am

    viagra without a rx viagra retail – buy viagra in ireland

  • RonaldMog, August 9, 2021 @ 3:46 pm

    over counter viagra alternative female pink viagra online – cheap viagra canada

  • gay dating duluth mn, August 9, 2021 @ 10:50 pm

    adam4adam.com gay dating site https://gaychatrooms.org/

  • mature gay dating site, August 10, 2021 @ 2:24 pm

    dallas gay dating https://gaydatingzz.com/

  • big black gay dating, August 10, 2021 @ 2:56 pm

    gay chat video dating https://freegaychatnew.com/

  • lavender gay dating site review, August 10, 2021 @ 4:47 pm

    4th man out gay dating sites https://gaychatus.com/

  • Floydhib, August 12, 2021 @ 4:49 am

    zithromax azithromycin zithromax online – buy generic zithromax no prescription

  • KevinCon, August 12, 2021 @ 10:44 am

    100percent free gay dating
    dating a gay guy in the closet
    [url=”http://gaychatrooms.org?”]las vegas gay dating[/url]

  • Ronaldgop, August 14, 2021 @ 2:44 pm

    purchase oral ivermectin ivermectin for sale humans – stromectol generic

  • KevinCon, August 15, 2021 @ 8:43 am

    which gay dating sute
    gay millionare dating
    [url=”http://gaychatrooms.org?”]gay dating albuquerque[/url]

  • Joshualap, August 16, 2021 @ 3:09 pm

    viagra purchase
    pink viagra cheap drugs over the counter viagra buy generic viagra online [url=https://app.box.com/s/62o7yqrmc9fygu6pe65ocicpxow8kxzi]viagra uk[/url] viagra instructions canadian pharmacy online calais pills from canada prescription drugs canada [url=http://webcamera.ru/user/groupwool73/]canadian drug store[/url]
    cialis at canadian pharmacy viagra australia viagra.canada viagra pro [url=https://notes.io/ZuZX]viagra 100 mg[/url]

  • Barrycliex, August 17, 2021 @ 5:25 pm

    lowest cost cialis
    walmart viagra price erectile dysfunction drugs online canada online drugstore free viagra samples [url=http://allfreead.com/index.php?page=user&action=pub_profile&id=342288]soft viagra[/url] canadian cialis online pharmacy viagra overnight delivery online prescription viagra generic cialis canada pharmacy online [url=http://www.cnccode.com/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=milefender21]viagra generic canada[/url]
    canada viagra generic online canadian pharmacy viagra 100mg price viagra safe [url=https://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/bye?https://app.gumroad.com/3202262388935/p/stopping-the-panic-taking-care-of-and-also-treating-anxiety-attack%5Dpurchase cialis in canada[/url]

  • WilliambaH, August 18, 2021 @ 1:34 am

    online ed meds ed meds online without doctor prescription – buy online pharmacy

  • KevinCon, August 18, 2021 @ 6:48 am

    gay dating in san francisco
    dating a gay guy
    [url=”http://gaychatgay.com?”]grinder online gay dating[/url]

  • WilliambaH, August 19, 2021 @ 6:04 pm

    natural ed treatment prescription meds without the prescriptions – ed online pharmacy

  • Thomasonemi, August 20, 2021 @ 2:51 pm

    hydroxychloroquine 5 mg buy plaquenil – generic plaquenil

  • Thomasonemi, August 22, 2021 @ 11:17 am

    lexapro 10 mg price in india lexapro tablets price – lexapro cheapest price

  • GerardoSoash, August 24, 2021 @ 3:12 am

    cialis funny cialis discounts – how to order cialis

  • Stevenhal, August 25, 2021 @ 4:35 am

    canada pharmacy cialis
    ordering medications from canada canadian drugs without a prescription drug canada best price on cialis prescription [url=http://www.redsea.gov.eg/taliano/Lists/Lista%20dei%20reclami/DispForm.aspx?ID=386112]online pharmacy canada[/url] buy viagra canada canadian pharmacies generic ed medication cheap cialis viagra canada online pharmacy [url=https://easybookmark.win/story.php?title=just-how-to-order-and-usage-your-generic-cialis-online-without-prescription-8#discuss]brand viagra online[/url]
    cialis from canadian pharmacies viagra buy get a prescription online how viagra works [url=https://genius.com/hoseschool51]canada drug superstore[/url]

  • Rogerseday, August 25, 2021 @ 5:00 am

    buy viagra usa
    viagra no prescription pharmacy viagra cialis daily canada viamedic.com [url=https://www.victoriousattitude.com/members/knightfamily49/activity/28808/]pills canada[/url] pills from canada northwestern pharmacy canada canadian medicine cialis over the counter canada [url=https://www.princeclassified.com/user/profile/196812]5 mg cialis canada[/url]
    viagra generic canada how to order viagra from canada canadian pharmacy online viagra viagra.com canada [url=http://statsclass.org/bb/member.php?action=profile&uid=87821]pink viagra[/url]

  • GerardoSoash, August 25, 2021 @ 10:30 pm

    generic cialis site accept mastercard cialis no prescription canada – online generic cialis

  • GerardoSoash, August 27, 2021 @ 9:39 pm

    viagra discount sildenafil – viagra 100mg price

  • Lloydrirty, August 28, 2021 @ 10:03 pm

    viagra 100mg price
    alternatives to viagra cialis no prescription online pharmacies canada viagra online canada pharmacy [url=http://dermatologist.com.ua/user/mileoption93/]medication online[/url] generic viagra free shipping online viagra canada buy cheap viagra ed medication [url=https://coub.com/amountbutter23]viagra samples[/url]
    generic viagra 100mg viagra pharmacy online medications from canada canadian rx [url=https://postheaven.net/birchhood82/canada-pharmacies-can-aid-clients-keep-avoid-and-also-healthy-the-expenses-of]daily cialis[/url]

  • MauriceItelf, August 30, 2021 @ 3:02 am

    ivermectin ivermectin tablets – stromectol 6 mg tablet

  • MauriceItelf, September 1, 2021 @ 1:10 am

    cheapest propecia online propecia generic – buy propecia

  • dating a bodybuilder gay, September 2, 2021 @ 5:42 am

    gay chubby chasers dating https://gaychatgay.com/

  • MauriceItelf, September 3, 2021 @ 4:25 am

    buy propecia uk propecia generic – generic propecia without prescription

  • Patrickeneme, September 3, 2021 @ 12:07 pm

    gay monster dating sim vn
    dating sites for older gay men
    [url=”http://gaychatgay.com?”]gay dating culture canada[/url]

  • Terrylib, September 6, 2021 @ 12:23 am

    online ed meds recommended canadian online pharmacies – prescription drugs without prior prescription

  • Reliant Energy Reviews, September 6, 2021 @ 1:15 am

    251263 415977I genuinely like your writing style, great information, appreciate it for posting : D. 311866

  • prainue, September 6, 2021 @ 4:53 pm

  • lasix 40 mg, September 6, 2021 @ 10:12 pm

    lasix without prescription buy lasix without a prescription phode Oxire

  • Cialis, September 7, 2021 @ 7:03 am

    Get Suprax Shipped Next Day

  • MichaelEnrox, September 8, 2021 @ 10:38 am

    italian gay dating sites
    gay dating site queer me up
    [url=”gaydatingcanada.com?”]dating gay marine[/url]

  • free gay dating browsing, September 8, 2021 @ 4:20 pm

    gay dating dad bod https://gayedating.com/

  • prescription water pills lasix, September 8, 2021 @ 6:54 pm

    furosemide 20 mg cost order lasix phode Oxire

  • Terrylib, September 8, 2021 @ 10:43 pm

    ed aids legitimate online pharmacies india – buy prescription drugs from canada

  • acifads, September 8, 2021 @ 11:27 pm

  • gay dating sites international, September 9, 2021 @ 1:43 am

    im dating a feminine gay man https://gay-singles-dating.com/

  • over the counter lasix, September 9, 2021 @ 6:37 am

    lasix online furosemide tablets 40 mg for sale phode Oxire

  • furosemide 40 mg price, September 9, 2021 @ 9:48 pm

    lasix 40 mg price lasix 40 mg tablet phode Oxire

  • oxittet, September 10, 2021 @ 8:12 am

  • buzzfeed gay dating, September 10, 2021 @ 10:50 pm

    bisexual guy dating a gay guy https://gaydatinglosangeles.com/

  • Terrylib, September 11, 2021 @ 12:05 am

    ed treatment india pharmacy without dr prescriptions – online prescription for ed meds

  • Propecia, September 11, 2021 @ 2:49 pm

    Causas Propecia

  • lasix medicine price, September 12, 2021 @ 12:31 am

    lasix 40 mg tablet online furosemide 20 mg tablet buy online phode Oxire

  • Terrylib, September 12, 2021 @ 2:00 am

    ivermectin 1% cream generic ivermectin 3mg – stromectol ivermectin buy

  • buy stromectol for humans online, September 13, 2021 @ 12:40 am

    Cephalexin Free Full Text Journal

  • Henrysnalf, September 13, 2021 @ 7:56 am

    over 40 gay dating site
    gay dating site in sacramento
    [url=”http://gayonlinedating.net/?”]free gay dating houston sites[/url]

  • tupssirub, September 15, 2021 @ 2:05 am

  • п»їivermectin for sale, September 15, 2021 @ 2:52 am

    ivermectin cost canada buy ivermectin uk

  • boushiott, September 15, 2021 @ 6:21 am

    http://buyzithromaxinf.com/ – how long does it take for azithromycin to work

  • thaccedge, September 16, 2021 @ 2:35 am

    https://buypriligyhop.com/ – priligy dosage

  • Henrysnalf, September 16, 2021 @ 5:54 am

    gay dating game with masseurs
    joe lozano gay dating
    [url=”http://gaydatingcanada.com/?”]professional gay dating london[/url]

  • Terrylib, September 16, 2021 @ 5:50 pm

    ivermectin 12 mg buy ivermectin – ivermectin syrup

  • lasix for cats, September 17, 2021 @ 5:34 am

    Tomar Cialis Yahoo

  • stromectol for humans, September 17, 2021 @ 7:06 am

    stromectol tablet 3 mg ivermectin cost canada

  • Jerrytob, September 17, 2021 @ 3:25 pm

    what type of medicine is prescribed for allergies best ed medication – online ed drugs

  • Awailia, September 17, 2021 @ 4:37 pm

    https://buyplaquenilcv.com/ – get hydroxychloroquine online

  • SweaRse, September 18, 2021 @ 8:59 am

  • buy stromectol online, September 19, 2021 @ 5:01 am

    ivermectin buy stromectol 3mg tablets

  • Jerrytob, September 19, 2021 @ 1:48 pm

    online canadian pharmacy errectile dysfunction – prescription meds without the prescriptions

  • Plaquenil, September 21, 2021 @ 10:06 am

    Commander Cialis En France

  • Peterdax, September 23, 2021 @ 12:19 am

    sildenafil cheapest price sildenafil 20 mg tablets online – sildenafil 50mg united states

  • clomiphene for sale, September 23, 2021 @ 5:42 am

    clomid 50 mg online phode Oxire

  • IrredyJem, September 23, 2021 @ 9:33 pm

  • Updapse, September 24, 2021 @ 2:22 am

  • clomid and serophene cost, September 24, 2021 @ 6:45 pm

  • Peterdax, September 25, 2021 @ 2:18 am

    how much is sildenafil in uk sildenafil tablets 100mg buy – sildenafil 20 mg mexico

  • Guifand, September 25, 2021 @ 8:03 am

  • Priligy, September 25, 2021 @ 4:56 pm

    Propecia Hair

  • https://ivermectinstromectolhp.com/, September 25, 2021 @ 10:29 pm

    ivermectin usa price buy generic stromectol

  • dating as a fat gay dude, September 26, 2021 @ 1:27 am

    gay dating new jersey https://dating-gaym.com/

  • Zithromax, September 26, 2021 @ 10:16 am

    Costco Cialis 5 Mg

  • https://ivermectinstromectolhp.com/, September 26, 2021 @ 2:29 pm

    order ivermectin ivermectin australia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.