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ISP Telkom Kenya is launching the first commercially available 4G LTE service using balloons that act as a network of cell towers floating in the stratosphere.
The service will initially cover approximately 19,000 square miles in Kenya, according to Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Loon, a spinout of Alphabet and the underlying technology provider. Roughly 35 or more balloons will comprise the fleet, moving continually, drifting in the stratosphere about 12 miles above the surface of the earth, Westgarth said in an article on Medium. “We refer to Loon as a floating network of cell towers,” Westgarth said.