Vodacom and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have signed a deal to allow the service provider to use Loon internet balloons.
Vodacom has done so in order to expand its network into Mozambique, a neighbouring country of South Africa.
According to My Broadband, the agreement will see Loon help Vodacom provide services to parts of the country that either lack network service or have little network service as a result of insufficient telecommunications towers.
Loon Balloons float in the Earth’s stratosphere and are able to provide these areas with network coverage. These balloons will provide Mozambique with 4G coverage.
This will enable the support of SMS, data, USSD and voice and mobile financial services, according to My Broadband.
The service will be available to any Vodacom subscriber with a standard 4G-VoLTE headset and SIM. Devices will connect automatically.
In a statement Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said: “Vodacom’s partnership with Loon is a perfect example of how technological innovation can connect the most rural communities in Africa.
“This is even more pertinent in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, where more Mozambicans will now have access to healthcare information through our Loon partnership.”
A single Loon Balloon area expands over 80km in diameter. These balloons communicate with telecommunication towers in order to connect users to the mobile network.