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Old 12-02-2020, 11:00   #1
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Loon System for Internet Access?

Anyone familiar with Alphabet's Loon System of balloons providing LTE service to sparsely developed countries? Who is the ISP? Can boats at sea access this network?
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Old 14-02-2020, 06:48   #2
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Re: Loon System for Internet Access?

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Originally Posted by iSaint View Post
Anyone familiar with Alphabet's Loon System of balloons providing LTE service to sparsely developed countries? Who is the ISP? Can boats at sea access this network?

Here is an article about testing the Loon service in northern Peru.

https://signalsresearch.com/issue/lo...l-lte-network/


Looks like Loon is being proven out in selected markets. No idea who provides the backhaul. If the Loon coverage overlaps the ocean, it could potentially serve boaters. I have not heard of this use case being investigated. The one I'm familiar with is rural coverage in under-served countries. I don't believe it would ever be widely deployed over oceans - that would not be cost effective. It might be used someday in densely populated areas (harbors?) with many boaters, but I would think it an uphill struggle against satellite services that have few global limits.



Just as with using your phone on a different network, there must be a roaming agreement between the two operators, or you must obtain a SIM card for the Loon network.
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Old 14-02-2020, 08:07   #3
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Re: Loon System for Internet Access?

You will only be able to use it at sea if a station is within view and within range.

At about 70,000 the view is about 360nm. Whether that is within range will depend on the transmitter power at each end.

Legal and financial issues are on top of that.
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Old 14-02-2020, 17:26   #4
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Re: Loon System for Internet Access?

Without special transmit power exemptions, the Loon downlink will be limited to <40km. The paper I referenced showed median power levels of -126dBm (very low) and top PCI power levels rarely exceeding -105 dBm. Coverage was not assessed in their testing, so it's hard to know what is achieved today. If Transmission Mode 9 is used, then beamforming can extend both DL and UL. But the UL power is limited by a) statutory power limits, b) risk of tissue damage at high power levels with handheld devices, c) battery capacity.
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