Over the past few days, Google s ambitions Project Loon had been in news when the government asked the search engine giant to choose a telecom operator as a partner for testing the service. Now, Rajan Anandan, Google s managing director for South East Asia and India has told the ET that Google is in talks with operators to pilot the Project Loon program. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football ChampionshipAlso Read - Android 12 beta 2 rolling out: New privacy features, tweaked design and more
There were some potential issues regarding Loon transmissions that it could interfere with cellular networks. However, after meeting with government authorities, Google seems to have worked on a solution to work with existing telecom operators to solve the problems. Also Read - Sundar Pichai: 5 interesting facts about Google CEO you never heard before
In December last year, when CEO Sundar Pichai visited India, he talked about India s importance for Google. He also mentioned that with Project Loon, Google aims to offer free Wi-Fi connectivity to more than 400 railway stations across India. While Mumbai Central was the first station to go online in January earlier this year, Google expects to connect 99 more stations by the end of 2016.
It is important to point out that while Google has talked about its ambitious plans of connecting the unconnected with the help of balloon-based Internet technology, the company hasn t said that the service will be offered completely for free. Anandan also mentioned that the government has been very supportive over Google s initiative.
It remains to see how Google can monetize its offering as the TRAI had banned Zero-rating services that only favour certain websites and services. It is due to this ban that Facebook had to shut down its Free Basics initiative in India. At the same time, Google will also have to figure out different ways to offer its services at affordable prices.