Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, has decided to cease operations of its internet balloon business Loon, saying the business is no longer commercially viable.
Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, has decided to cease operations of internet balloon business Loon, citing the business is no longer commercially viable.
Loon is a subsidiary company of Alphabet that provides wireless internet access to rural and remote areas via flying balloons to the stratosphere.
Alphabet founded the internet firm to give wireless network to places around the world that cannot install cell towers due to their expense.
However, some wireless carriers that Loon considered as potential partners grew uncertain due to the technicality and the political viability of the project.
“While we’ve found a number of willing partners along the way, we haven’t found a way to get the costs low enough to build a long-term, sustainable business,” Alastair Westgarth, chief executive of Loon, said in a statement.
According to experts, the project was started to give affordable and abundant internet access to remote and unconnected communities around the world because of the expensiveness of building cellular base stations.
Despite the company’s ground-breaking technical achievements within the previous nine years, the skyrocketing demand for mobile connectivity worldwide made cell sites more cost-effective more than how Loon’s founders estimated a decade ago.
This realization made the need for Loon’s aerial wireless network diminish over time.
“The road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped,” Alphabet’s X moonshot division CEO Astro Teller wrote in a blog post. “In the coming months, we’ll begin winding down operations and it will no longer be an Other Bet within Alphabet.”
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