Internet Para Todos (IpT) – an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure owned by Telefonica, Facebook, IDB Invest and CAF – has signed an agreement with Alphabet’s Loon to use the latter’s high altitude balloons to provide mobile internet access to remote areas of Peruvian Amazonia. The deal will see the two firms work together to provide coverage in areas of Peru’s Loreto region, initially targeting locations that make up a total of around 15% of Loreto’s territory and are home to nearly 200,000 residents. Around a quarter of those lack 3G connectivity whilst many have no access to a reliable mobile service outside of populated areas. According to a press release from Telefonica, the deployment of Loon in Peru would be the first time the technology had been used in Latin America on a sustained, non-emergency basis; the cellco notes that the technology was used to provide connectivity following natural disasters this year and in 2017.
Commenting on the deal, IpT CEO Teresa Gomes was quoted as saying: ‘IpT was born with the purpose of connecting millions of Latin Americans, including six million Peruvians without adequate access to mobile internet. This challenge involves reaching difficult access areas with innovative and sustainable technologies that allow us to overcome geographical, technological and economic complexities. Thanks to this agreement with Loon, we will extend the mobile internet access to more Peruvians with disruptive technology.’