Alphabet shutting down Loon, which used balloon alternative to cell TOWERS

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Google parent Alphabet Inc is shutting down its internet balloon business, Loon, which aimed to provide a less expensive alternative to cell towers, saying on Thursday that it was not commercially viable.

Founded in 2011, Loon aimed to bring connectivity to areas of the world where building cell towers is too expensive or treacherous by using balloons the length of tennis courts to float solar-powered networking gear high above the Earth. But the wireless carriers that Loon saw as buyers of its technology have questioned its technical and political viability.

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