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Monday, June 17, 2013

Google plans to launch a mobile network on balloons

Google has announced a new trial scheme that could provide internet access in remote areas. Instead of using satellite connections, it’s looking into the possibility of putting communications equipment on balloons.

These balloons would be in the stratosphere at about twice the altitude of commercial aircraft and would offer data speeds that were similar to 3G networks.

By using wind and solar power along with the company’s computing expertise, Google reckons it can move the balloons to keep them in the right place.

The scheme is called Project Loon and is currently being tested in the skies above the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.

In a blog post, project leader Mike Cassidy said “We imagine someday you'll be able to use your cell phone with your existing service provider to connect to the balloons and get connectivity where there is none today.”

[Google blog]

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