Google’s holding company, Alphabet Inc. has announced that they will be shutting down its division that focuses on developing a solar powered drone that would beam internet down as it flew over different geographies. The project that had been named as Project Titan has been quietly shut down by Google. This was confirmed by an Alphabet spokesperson. They said that Project Loon was much more effective in getting internet to people in remote locations, where setting up of infrastructure will be very expensive.
Project Loon involves getting balloons that fly at a very high altitude to beam internet down into locations that are far away from cities and other modern facilities. The cost on putting up poles or cables and wires to get internet to these areas is usually very very expensive and will be almost financially unfeasible considering that very few people stay in these locations.
Titan had faced many problems as it had crashed in the year 2015 and had also faced many problems in beaming 5G internet data. The project itself was turning out to be very expensive and over budget. The balloon is much cheaper as it is finally just filled with air and doesn’t need a lot to stay airborne and can stay stationary at one place, unlike a drone which will have to keep flying. The cost of maintaining a drone is also high, with Google needing special teams of engineers to monitor the drones.
Google may have started many projects, but it is now looking at ways to monetize these projects in order to make them profitable. One of these projects is to provide internet to citizens at large. They have tied up with the Indian Government to provide WiFi at more than 100 Indian railway stations. This is what Google is aiming at. Facebook has also developed a solar powered drone, Aquilla, that can fly on its own to beam internet down on the earth.