Alphabet subsidiary Loon inked a deal with Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) to begin flights over the country, allowing it to supply connectivity services in hard-to-reach areas and potential disaster zones.
At a media event in capital city Kampala, UCAA director general David Kakuba signed the agreement with Loon head of government relations Anna Prouse.
Following the announcement, newspaper Daily Monitor reported Loon would engage with telecommunications companies on the logistics of supplying connectivity to distant parts of the country and zones prone to natural disasters.
The agreement follows a number of test flights of Loon’s high altitude ballons, which act as floating mobile towers, in Uganda and neighbouring countries.
Loon service was deployed as a direct response to natural disasters in the Americas in 2017, following flooding in Peru and in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico.
Last month Telefonica signed a deal with Loon to use its balloons to extend its reach in rural areas of Peru, with launch scheduled for early 2020.
Adopted from: Mobile World Live December 10, 2019