Telkom Kenya has partnered with Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google's parent company) to pilot an innovative new 4G/LTE access network service in Kenya.
The two companies will also work closely together over the coming months to prepare for the deployment of the service, which is expected in 2019. This will be Loon’s first commercial service in Africa.
The Loon service is an innovative approach to providing extended 4G/LTE coverage to rural and suburban areas with lower population densities, using high altitude balloons operating 20 kilometres (60,000 feet) above sea level, well above air traffic, wildlife, and weather events. The balloons act as floating cell towers, transmitting a provider’s service - in this case Telkom’s service - directly to a subscriber’s existing 4G/LTE phone below. Loon’s equipment is powered by on-board solar panels.