The technology feasibility trial by Loon and Telkom Kenya will be terminated on 1st March, 2021. This follows an announcement that Loon LLC is being globally shut down as a company.

Loon technology pilot program aimed at working on providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. The company uses high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere at an altitude of 18 km to 25 km to create an aerial wireless network with up to 1 Mbit/s speeds. The company launched the balloons in the Kenyan airspace last year, following approval by the cabinet.

In a statement, Loon’s CEO, Alastair Westgarth said, “Loon would not have been possible without a community of innovators and risk takers who were willing to take a chance on us and build something the world has never seen before. While we’re sad to share that Loon’s journey is coming to an end, we are grateful to the Telkom team for their vision and partnership.”

Loon will continue to provide service with Telkom Kenya up to March 1, this year. Over the coming months, the Loon team will work closely with Telkom to ensure the operations of the technology’s pilot service are concluded safely and smoothly.

Telkom Kenya’s CEO, Mr. Mugo Kibati said, “Telkom believes in taking bold decisions. It was very exciting therefore, to partner with like-minded pioneers in the adoption and usage of innovative technologies such as Loon, with the aim of filling in the Internet access gaps in areas that were difficult to service. Their vision – to connect unconnected and under-connected communities by inventing and integrating audacious technologies – sat well with our mission, to provide the best value for a simpler life, efficient business and stronger communities.

Powered by its vast fibre optic infrastructure, Telkom is also a major provider of wholesale carrier-to-carrier traffic, within the country and the region.