Alphabet holding (which includes Google and other companies) has abandoned the Loon project and will not launch the Internet in balloons, but is going to implement an even more ambitious project – Taara.
In India, Kenya and Congo, Alphabet specialists tested the operation of optical stations that communicate with each other using laser emitters. In the initial test, about 70 TB of data was transferred, while the connection reliability was 99.99%, and the maximum speed was 20 Gb / s.
Alphabet’s goal is to provide cheap and stable internet to those regions of the planet where there is no broadband cable connection and poor cellular communication (or too high tariffs). Obviously, ground base stations are cheaper and easier to maintain than aircraft.
Since data is transmitted using laser beams, a direct line of sight between stations is required, and this is possible either on flat terrain or using intermediary stations (that is, to transmit data over the mountain, you need not two stations, but three, one of which must be installed on top). In addition, the finest tuning of the equipment is required, and any displacement of the station can completely disrupt communication, since the beam will be transmitted past the receiver. Alphabet’s engineers now face several challenges, such as creating a system to automatically readjust the beam after a target shift.