Alphabet’s X partners Econet on Project Taara wireless light-beam broadband

12 Nov 2020

US-based multinational conglomerate Alphabet’s X subsidiary has announced that its ‘Project Taara’ high-speed optical wireless broadband venture is working with the Econet group and its subsidiaries to begin rolling out its tech across Sub-Saharan Africa, following a series of small pilots in Kenya. Taara and Econet are now ready to start adding wireless optical links to supplement and enhance Econet services more broadly, starting with Liquid Telecom customers in Kenya, reports TechCrunch.

X’s Taara is described as essentially fibre-optics without cables – it uses a narrow, invisible beam of light to transmit data between two terminals that can span up to nearly 12.5 miles, providing transfer speeds up to 20Gbps, potentially connecting thousands of customers or households and supporting high-quality streaming video. The technology could be used to patch gaps in traditional fibre-optic networks, spanning rivers or crossing terrain that would be hard or impossible to traverse using cables. Taara requires unbroken line of sight, with X utilising tall structures for terminal deployment where possible.