To me, Google Loon has always been just another backhaul option. And one in the early testing stages. It fitted with Google investments in undersea cables and O3B. Couldn’t quite understand what people were getting their knickers in a twist about. This is now confirmed. But nowhere is Sri Lanka mentioned, despite our belief that we are the center of the known universe.
“The operators control the distribution, marketing, OSS, BSS, CRM – the customer relationship is with the telcos. We are just the infrastructure provider,” he said. “There is a viable commercial business model and is based on skin-in-the-game, sharing costs and revenue with operators for completely untouched potential.”
According to the executive, once the first deal with an operator is in place, others are likely to follow – but it needs someone to take the first step.
Loon is an ambitious project that attempts to use helium-filled balloons to provide internet connectivity, and has so far been tested by operators such as Telefonica, Telstra and Vodafone.
With regard to the status of the project, Fakharany said the focus for the near future is about bringing it to scale, and not just in the Southern Hemisphere, where its initial tests have taken place.