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Alphabet drops its solar-powered Internet drone project

Around 60% of the world’s population has no Internet access. A Google project that was intended to remedy this problem has now been abandoned.

30 Jan. 2017
Google Titan Solara
The solar-powered Google-Drone. (Photo: Google)

The Titan project, with which Google wanted to provide Internet to remote regions by means of drones, has failed. Parent company Alphabet confirmed this news to the online magazine 9TO5Google . The employees involved – up to 50 at one point – will be given other responsibilities within the group over the coming months.

Google wanted to use the Titan project to study how remote areas could be provided with Internet access; solar-powered drones flying at high altitudes had been envisaged to carry out this task. There were however already reports of serious problems in 2016. The fast-growing wireless communications market in Africa alongside the approaching 5G rollout were probably among the reasons behind the decision.

Some of the employees affected by the project’s termination will likely be redeployed to the Loon project in the future. The Loon project is also about providing Internet service to remote areas, although by means of hot air balloons floating in the stratosphere rather than drones.