Alphabet delivers wireless Internet over light beams from 20km away

 In africa, alphabet, Biz & IT, kenya, project loon, project taara, wireless internet

Alphabet delivers wireless Internet over light beams from 20km away

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A wireless communication terminal on the rooftop of a large building in Kenya.

Enlarge / Piloting Taara’s wireless optical communication links in Kenya. (credit: Allphabet)

Alphabet will soon deliver wireless Internet over light beams in Kenya using a technology that can cover distances of up to 20km. Alphabet’s Project Taara, unveiled under a different name in 2017, conducted a series of pilots in Kenya last year and is now partnering with a telecom company to deliver Internet access in remote parts of Africa.

Kenya will get the technology first, with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa to follow. Project Taara General Manager Mahesh Krishnaswamy described the project in an announcement from Alphabet today:

Project Taara is now working with Econet and its subsidiaries, Liquid Telecom and Econet Group, to expand and enhance affordable, high-speed Internet to communities across their networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Taara’s links will begin rolling out across Liquid Telecom’s networks in Kenya first, and will help provide high-speed connectivity in places where it’s challenging to lay fiber cables, or where deploying fiber might be too costly or dangerous—for example over rivers, across national parks, or in post-conflict zones.

Like fiber, without cables

Illustration of a Project Taara terminal delivering Internet access from a tall building to a remote area.

Illustration of a Project Taara terminal delivering Internet access from a tall building to a remote area. (credit: Alphabet)

Similar to fiber-optic cables, Taara’s technology uses light to transmit data, but without the cables. Krishnaswamy continued:

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Wireless network in Kenya to use light beams, like fiber but without the cables.

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