Google Balloons Africa

Google Balloons Africa

In June 2017, I made a case that 2022 will be the inflection year where mobile internet will begin to seed new business models in Nigeria and Africa at scale. It will be the year of Wireless Africa. That will take our decade of App Utility in Africa to the next level.

In today’s videocast, I make a case that Africa will enter the era of affordable broadband internet in 2022. That will be the year we will begin a new dawn of immersive connectivity where you can eat and surf all you can. Industry players will take off the Internet meter and then focus on service, experience and quality. From satellite broadband vendors to the MNCs with balloons and drones, the sector will become very competitive and service will drive growth. This has happened in the past – every decade, Africa experiences a major industrial transformation. We saw that in banking and voice telephony. 2020s, starting at 2022, will be the decade of immersive connectivity.

The trajectory is clearer now: Google wants to balloon Africa as it searches for more IP addresses to keep Wall Street happy. Yes, drop $1 billion in Africa and Latin America, and acquire millions of new users in your ecosystems. If that stays consistent, add $200 billion to your market cap, and create more millionaires within shareholders.

Google’s Project Loon has launched its first set of internet balloons in remote areas of Kenya. The East African country becomes the first in the continent to have balloon-powered internet and the first non-emergency commercial deployment in the world, according to the statement issued by Project Loon and Telkom Kenya.

The companies said that pioneering technology to customers is now on course for this month and will continually improve the technology to progressively offer better experience to customers.

It is the same model that is used in retail: mark down clothes by 20% in the last few days of any quarter, and in the process “burn” $5 million. But in a few weeks, report your earnings, and beat market revenue consensus (who cares about profit?), and magically, add extra $100 million in your market cap.

If you are MTN, 9Mobile, Glo, etc, as you get ready to strike partnerships with balloons, remember the media sector’s partnership with social media. Yes, you can partner and just fade over time. Shine your eyes because everyone likes balloons!


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One thought on “Google Balloons Africa

  1. Anything that can make reliable internet accessible and affordable in all corners of Africa, I am all for it!

    I do believe that cheap broadband access at scale could be the most efficacious way to tackle unemployment within Africa, it remains the ultimate operating system when it comes to decimating unemployment here.

    When you cannot provide good roads, good schools, good healthcare system; just provide broadband services everywhere, and a lot of people can take care of themselves. With small portable solar kits, millions of people can keep their devices alive; while they wait for regular power supply.

    There are lots of things ordinary people can accomplish, just with access to cheap broadband services, nothing else can have such a transformational impact without costing a fortune.

    Thousands of new businesses will spring up, individuals can monetise talent and skills that have remained largely worthless right now, due to information asymmetry that makes matching supply to demands an impossibility.

    If Google Loon can make this a reality across Africa, it will create higher economic value than the one it could destroy; so it remains a win for the people and governments.

    The mobile internet inflection can’t be quicker!


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