Internet will arrive in "balloon" to the Peruvian Amazon in 2020
The giants Telefonica, Facebook and Google have joined forces to break the digital gap in the green, and soon-to-be "connected," lung of the planet.
Since the Internet started to reach all homes, every time the signal fails it is almost as if you were deaf, mute and probably blind. If you're not there, you don't exist. If you can't communicate, much less.
To end the digital gap and, why not, to expand their business and respond to the demand of customers who need access to the Internet through their cell phones, Telefonica and Facebook have reached an agreement with Alphabet, the matrix of Google, to allow its project Internet para Todos (IpT) to use loop balloons to connect rural communities of the Peruvian jungle to the net.
The data will then "fly" to Peru this 2020, as announced by Telefonica in a statement.
The multinational corporation said that Loop and IpT (Internet for All), the rural mobile infrastructure operator created by Telefonica and Facebook, will work together to offer service from Loreto, one of the largest areas of the country.
"Peru will become the first country in Latin America to use this innovative connectivity solution uninterruptedly and not only in emergency situations," said the operator in a statement.
And they will do so thanks to an innovative technology based on a network of stratospheric balloons -operating at 20 kilometers above sea level, over atmospheric phenomena and air traffic-, which act as floating telephony towers.
Thus, Loon's balloons directly transmit an operator's signal to any mobile device.
"Initially, Loon and IpT will offer service in certain areas that represent approximately 15% of the surface of Loreto, where almost 200,000 people live," notes Telefonica in the statement, which adds that about a quarter of citizens lack a 3G service or higher, or do not have mobile service outside of populated areas. "With this deployment, Peru will become the first country in Latin America to use this innovative connectivity solution uninterruptedly and not only in emergency situations," concludes the operator.
Although they are waiting for the Peruvian Transport and Telecommunications Minister to grant them the regulatory permit to make the service effective, Peru would follow in the footsteps of Kenya, another large jungle territory that has already signed a contract with Loon to expand the service of mobile operators through high altitude balloons.
Last week, Ecuador's Telecommunications Minister announced that by 2021 there will be Internet access in 98% of the South American country; that is, five out of every ten citizens will have access to data.
It is an Internet for All initiative that will reduce inequalities, as it allows greater access to information.
Of course, this is not the only obstacle to be faced, since people will have to pay for cell phones and computers, which is not easy in a country where 24% of the population lives in poverty and is particularly harsh in the rural areas.
Meanwhile, Latin American investors continue to seek alternative solutions to improve connectivity and grow their economy and infrastructure, with the so-called "digital ecosystem." This can be seen in the creation of a digital hub in Panama or a submarine cable from Chile to China, which would prevent all data traffic from being made from the United States and Europe.