Loon developed technology to provide wireless services using long-term balloons on the stratosphere. Balloons mainly serve as high-altitude cell towers that provide LTE connectivity to mobile phones.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, launched Loon in June 2013, and Loon graduated from Moonshot in 2018 to an independent company in Alphabet. Loon launched its first commercial internet service in Kenya in July, including 35 balloons of them. Balloons covering an area of 50,000 square kilometers.
Recently, Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said, “Although we have found many partners who are willing to cooperate, we have not yet found a way to reduce costs to a low enough level to build a long-term sustainable business. The development of radical new technologies is inherently risky, but this did not make this news easier. Today, I regret to tell you that Loon will be gradually closed.”
In the third-quarter earnings report, Alphabet states that “other business” revenue increased to $178 million from $155 million in the same period last year while operating losses increased to $1.1 billion a year from $941 million in the same period last year. In contrast, Google had a third-quarter operating profit of $12.6 billion and a revenue of $46 billion.