A larger fleet of Loon balloons is heading to Kenya after successful launches from Loon’s launch site in Puerto Rico, this week.
These balloons will join the eight balloons that are already active and part of a network integration exercise in Kenyan airspace. Upon arrival, this larger fleet of balloons will continue network integration testing with its local partner, Telkom Kenya, in preparation to begin serving users as quickly as possible. The recently launched balloons are expected to gradually begin arriving above Kenya, in the coming few weeks.
The Loon service will seek to use its 4G/LTE Internet solution to connect unserved and under-served communities in Kenya. Initial coverage areas have already been identified, starting with Nairobi, Machakos, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kitui, Nanyuki, Narok and into Kisii.
Landing paths are designed to avoid established commercial aircraft flight routes, and transit time through the altitudes where other aircraft might operate is very limited. Additionally, Loon’s flight engineers are in communication with local air traffic control to ensure real-time coordination.