Alphabet’s Loon, Vodacom partner to increase Internet access in Mozambique

loonAlphabet’s Loon and mobile operator company Vodacom have signed an agreement to use Loon’s balloon-powered Internet solution to expand Mozambique's Vodacom network

Loon will help Vodacom provide service to unserved and underserved parts of the country with a network of floating cell phone towers operating 20 km above the Earth.

Using the Loon solution, Vodacom will expand mobile network access to the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa, two regions which have proved difficult to cover in the past due to vast and logistically challenging geographic areas, along with low population density.

The solution will provide a 4G service that supports data, voice, sms and USSD, which will also enable mobile financial services. The service will be available to any Vodacom subscriber with a standard 4G-VoLTE enabled handset and SIM card.

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said, “Vodacom’s partnership with Loon is a perfect example of how technological innovation can connect the most rural communities in Africa.”

Vodacom Mozambique Chief Technology Officer Pedro Rabacal said, “This agreement symbolises yet another advance in the field of mobile communications technologies in the country and will allow greater connectivity for Mozambicans in any geography.”

Loon and Vodacom will work together to continue to install terrestrial infrastructure, which will serve as the physical connection point for Loon's balloons to the Internet and core network of Vodacom. Loon will also start flying balloons over Mozambique to learn the stratospheric wind patterns on which the balloons have to navigate to stay above the service zone.

Network integration testing is ongoing in order to ensure that this innovative solution works as intended. Loon and Vodacom expect to begin providing service to users in the coming months.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?