At today’s Mobile World Congress Extra talk, Google’s head of Chrome and Android Sundar Pichai took to the stage to speak about Google’s work in the communications field. He touched on the three ways that Google helps with global communications and took the opportunity to expand on a new initiative: Project Titan.
Project Titan is based on the work of Titan Aerospace, a company they purchased early last year. Project Titan is similar in scope to the now two year old Project Loon, with the plan to use Project Titans lightweight solar powered drones to deliver internet to remote users instead of balloons.
Project Titan is still in its infancy, with Pichai advising that the project is ‘about where Loon was two years ago’. Project Loon has now been flying for around two years, with Pichai advising that Project Loon balloons can now stay aloft for around 6 months (200 Days). Pichai went on to announce that Project Loon would be ‘flying the planes out in the next few months’.
Pichai mentioned Google’s existing testing of Project Loon, which involves a partnership with Telstra. He also spoke about how Project Loon, has been able to supply 4G/LTE speeds in testing of the service, a fact Telstra announced late last year.
Project Loon and Project Titan are two ways Google is expanding connectivity, but they are also working to bring better infrastructure to where it’s needed. Google currently supplies backhaul services in Uganda to supply internet to people down there, with plans to expand the arrangement to other countries in Africa.
Project Loon balloons can occasionally be seen on flight monitoring service FlightRadar24, so it should only be a matter of time before we begin seeing Project Titan aircraft as well.