Google provides internet to two African countries via laser technology
Google connects two African countries to the Internet via laser
Google brought internet to the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a wireless laser system. Within 20 days of operation, the air channel between Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo, and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, transmitted more than 700 terabytes of data, according to the company’s blog.
The two cities, with a population of 17 million, are separated by only 4.8 kilometers. However, the cost of the connection is five times higher in Kinshasa because the fiber connection has to travel more than 400 kilometres.
Both cities are located on the banks of the Congo River, which is the deepest in the world (more than 230 meters) with a very fast flow. Under these conditions, it was impossible to lay a cable between Brazzaville and Kinshasa, so an overhead line was built as part of the TARA project, which aims to create a global laser internet.
X’s Project Taara is working with @LiquidInTech to connect Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa, DRC — using Taara’s wireless optical communication links to beam a high-speed internet connection across the Congo River. https://t.co/F1uUBN2zAQ
— The Team at X (@Theteamatx) September 16, 2021
Wireless Optical Communications (WOC) technology has long been considered unreliable and expensive, but the Google division has perfected it.
First, specialists have improved laser beam targeting and tracking so that Taara stations automatically adapt to changes in the environment to maintain this precise communication. Now, the transmitter beam can hit a receiver with an accuracy of five centimeters from a distance of 10 kilometers.
At the same time, the internet laser equipment dynamically adapts to the conditions, and the transmission power changes depending on the time or interference caused by the weather or the passing of birds or other animals. The latter problem turned out to be particularly acute during tests in India, where monkeys climbed up transport towers.