Google Balloons To Be Leased To Telco Operators

Google Balloons changing the business model

Photo: Google

Astro Teller, Google’s Head of Project Loon, recently explained that the company gave up on the initial plan of purchasing spectrum for its’ balloon-powered wireless network and instead decided to lease them to telecom operators in countries with underdeveloped networks.

In a previous article we published on we explained you that the aim of Project Loon is to provide free balloon WiFi internet access to disaster-stricken, rural or poor areas. Astro Teller attended the latest TechCrunch Disrupt event and went on to say that their goal with Google Ballons  is:

covering the world with balloons that are like floating cell towers so that everyone in the world could have Internet connectivity.

This change in the business model comes after more than six months spent “arguing with these large companies”, trying to close a deal and purchase wireless spectrum, Teller said.

If you ask us, it’s no wonder large telco players like Vodafone, Axiata or Telefonica said no to this proposal – they definitely see Google as a potential competitor, wanting to disrupt their comfortable, money-making business model!

Conclusion: unfortunately, given the latest news, we are inclined to believe it’s less and less probable that Google Balloons will fly off as a project. Big telco’s want to preserve their seat at the table, so Google needs to find better ways of partnering with them.

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