Google to build a wireless network using balloons?

Google to build a wireless network using balloons?
The California based company, Google, is exploring the possibility to build a wireless network, by using balloons. The way this system works is very interesting: by attaching transceivers to a balloon and launching it in the upper atmosphere, a large area (thousands of square miles) can be covered. This solution makes installing cell towers unnecessary. At present, this technology is used to provide cellphone coverage in rural areas or where the signals from the towers are blocked by obstacles (e.g. hills, mountains).

Google is said to have expressed interest in either buying the balloon wireless company Space Data or in forming a partnership with it, in order to create such a wireless network. Currently there are no specific implementations for the network discussed, but considering the interest Google has in the mobile industry (Android, gPhone) the chances of seeing a feature based on it are high.

source: WSJ



1. jvillan unregistered

that would be a really cool idea google has had! just wonder if it would actually work!? not only for cellphone service but for data as well!

2. unregistered

This is stupid. weather will cause major issues and if the something happens people will not haver service.

3. Matt unregistered

wow i can see google becoming something like the umbrella corporation from resident evil. first the web then comunications, then shortly genetic reasearch for the miitary

4. Knightlyjay unregistered

If you take a look at their web site (Space Data), it looks like you need to launch new balloons periodically to make it happen. Also the devices using this have external antennae. I would think that the opportunity for ridicule would shame this into history if it was deployed for consumer cellular communications. It would be better for Google to just say "We have a network, and coverage near you!" than to tell people, "Your communications are safe with us as we go up, up and away in our beautiful balloon."

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