Google Loon Looms

March 3, 2015

Which is grabbing more traffic: Facebook or stories about Google Loon? We know that Google has found social media a slippery fish. To address the lack of grippiness on innovation, Google is pumping up the Loon balloon.

Navigate to “Google Thinks Its Internet Balloons Will Be a $10 Billion Business.” The story reports:

…The company’s “floating cell towers in the sky” are capable of staying aloft up to six months and Google envisions its efforts eventually turning into a business that could make tens of billions of revenue dollars a year…

Where have I seen $10 estimates before. Oh, I remember. IBM Watson was going to be a $10 billion a year business. HP one upped Big Blue by assuming that it could pay $11 billion for Autonomy and make that an even more fantastic amount of billions operation. I suppose I could toss in Palantier, but why confuse people?

The “play” is that Google will form partnerships with telecommunication companies. Isn’t Google setting up its own high speed and wireless service? I don’t know much about telcos but I did pick up some info when I worked on AT&T and Bell Labs’ projects years ago. Telcos don’t like to stray too far from the shadow of the Bell Heads who came before. Outside the US, the telcos may not be exactly what they seem.

I find the notion of balloons interesting; however, I am skeptical that the various pieces will snap into place like a Darth Vadar Lego construction. Didn’t Google invest in doing stuff from satellites? Well, I suppose one should hedge one’s bets.

Stephen E Arnold, March 3, 2015


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