Alphabet `X’ sells new wireless internet technology to Andhra Pradesh

15 Dec 2017


The X division of Google's parent company Alphabet that deals in experimental technologies, has entered into an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh government for bringing high-speed internet to parts of Andhra Pradesh using special boxes that beam light.

The company also signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh government to set up a development centre in Visakhapatnam and to create a high speed internet network that doesn't require special cabling.

The X centre in Visakhapatnam will be its first development centre outside the US.

X, called GoogleX before 2015, claims to be a ''moonshot'' factory, which aims to invent and launch ''moonshot'' technologies that could someday make the world a radically better place.

It is also working on `Project Loon' that uses balloons to beam internet.

Alphabet X said the X internet network in Andhra will use "Free Space Optical Communications, aka FSOC, technology". This network will power internet in 13 districts through 2,000 FSOC boxes.

"FSOC links use beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances, just like fiber optic cable, but without the cable. And because there's no cable, this means there's none of the time, cost, and hassle involved in digging trenches or stringing cable along poles," said Baris Erkmen, an X spokesperson. "FSOC boxes can simply be placed kilometres apart on roofs or towers, with the signal beamed directly between the boxes to easily traverse common obstacles like rivers, roads and railways."

Reports quoting sources in the Andhra government said the MoU was signed in San Francisco in the presence of Nara Lokesh, Andhra Pradesh minister of IT, and X CEO Astro Teller. "With X coming to Andhra Pradesh, the state will see revolution in communication," said Lokesh.

The project will help provide high-speed internet and broadband connections to around 12 million households and 130,000 enterprises by March 2019.

Earlier chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had visited the X facility in the US in May this year.

X said that it was already working with AP State FiberNet creating the FSOC network. "Today AP State FiberNet announced that they'll be rolling out two thousand FSOC links created by our team at X.

These FSOC links will form part of the high-bandwidth backbone of their network... The links will plug critical gaps to major access points, like cell-towers and WiFi hotspots, that support thousands of people," said Erkmen.

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