Vodacom, Loon bring balloon-powered Internet to Mozambique
Google’s affiliate company Loon, signed a commercial contract with Vodacom, one of Africa’s largest mobile network operators, to begin serving and expanding the Vodacom network in Mozambique. This marks Loon’s second deal in Africa, Telkom Kenya, being the first telco to sign a commercial deal in April this year.
Loon with its unique balloon-based telecom infrastructure will help Vodacom bridge the digital divide through its network of floating cellphone towers that operate 20 km in the Earth’s stratosphere.
Due to its success in the US, it appears this could be a good alternative to reach the remote areas in not only Mozambique and Kenya but to other African countries too in the future. At least as a stop-gap measure, if not for the long-term.
This partnership could be life changing by bringing mobile financial services to Africa’s remotest areas. In addition, in these times of COVID-19, where more Mozambicans, especially in Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces of Mozambique, two regions that have proven hard to cover in the past due to their challenging geographies can gain access to crucial healthcare information and services.