The Indian government has approved projects from Microsoft and Google which aim to bring Internet connectivity to remote rural areas with no or limited internet access.
Google’s Loon project looks to use a global network of high-altitude balloons to connect people in rural and remote areas. Microsoft´s White Spaces Project aims to take benefit of Dynamic Spectrum and so called TV White Spaces which are unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum.
India’s Ministry of Communication is looking into the security clearances required for Microsoft´s project,, which could help connect the last-mile regions of the country to low cost internet.
The Ministry had earlier responded to Google’s Project Loon by stating that the proposed frequency was already used in India for telecommunication purposes. The company might now suggest a different frequency.
Microsoft Chief, Satya Nadella visited Hyderabad city of Andhra Pradesh in December, where he settled an agreement with the State’s Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, which enabled Microsoft to work on Project White Spaces.
Although Microsoft has signed a morandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh, officially partnering with the Central Government of India would be a much greater feat.
Microsoft has already been successful in deploying White Spaces pilot project in affiliation with the Kenyan Ministry of Information, providing low-cost broadband internet services. Project White Pages has proposed a plan to utilize an unused spectrum of television, which can be used to broadcast an internet connection across several kilometers.
Connecting more people to the internet means more customers to make use of all the services and products that Microsoft has to offer. Apart from Kenya, project White Spaces has already been deployed across several other nations, including Botswana, Ghana, Namibia and Singapore.
Source: The Indian Express