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Google Testing Blimp Broadband in Africa
Blimpband: Long Promised, Never Delivered
by Karl Bode 08:26AM Tuesday May 28 2013
For years we've talked about the idea of "stratellites" -- or blimps proposed for use primarily as communications vessels either in military conflict, disaster zones, or in rural markets. One of the "leaders" (the term is used loosely) in the field has been Sanswire Networks, whose "blimpband" services have made hype-drenched headlines for years yet never actually materialized. Now Google is breathing new life into the blimpband market with the news that they're tinkering with blimp-based broadband" for use in markets like Africa:
quote:
Search giant Google is intending to build huge wireless networks across Africa and Asia, using high-altitude balloons and blimps. The company is intending to finance, build and help operate networks from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, with the aim of connecting around a billion people to the web. To help enable the campaign, Google has been putting together an ecosystem of low-cost smartphones running Android on low-power microprocessors. Rather than traditional infrastructure, Google's signal will be carried by high-altitude platforms - balloons and blimps - that can transmit to areas of hundreds of square kilometres.
Like Microsoft, who also has an interest in Africa as an exploding mobile market, Google has also been working on using White Space broadband to deliver connectivity to Africa.

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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Google's dream of blimp broadband in action

Here is what Google's plans for blimp broadband may look like :

--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: Google's dream of blimp broadband in action

I saw this image and immediately thought of "Ride of the Valkyries".
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Maintenance windows

Soooo when a blimp goes offline for "unscheduled" maintenance, would this include lightning strikes and other unforeseen circumstances? What ever happened to Google's white space broadband initiative like Microsoft's pilot in Kenya?

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Maintenance windows

said by Network Guy:

Soooo when a blimp goes offline for "unscheduled" maintenance, would this include lightning strikes and other unforeseen circumstances? What ever happened to Google's white space broadband initiative like Microsoft's pilot in Kenya?

They're barrage balloons so even when they are offline they will protect us from Luftwaffe strafing and bombing runs.

Blobl
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Smart move

It's a workable solution and makes any competition point out it's weaknesses while that competition builds their own terrestrial infrastructure like towers or cabled services which may or may not get taken out by machetes and kalashnikovs. Change is the first enemy targeted.
--
Say no to astroturfing. actions > Ignore Author
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Smart move

It maybe a "smart move" but competition builds??? You do realize that where they are deploying this/thinking about has nothing already and is in Africa. NOT the US or Canada.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Smart move

said by TBBroadband:

It maybe a "smart move" but competition builds??? You do realize that where they are deploying this/thinking about has nothing already and is in Africa. NOT the US or Canada.

The philanthropist's company not moving equally into the 3rd world markets their main competitor is? I think think google framed this situation perfectly.
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Say no to astroturfing. actions > Ignore Author

Treegravy
Premium
join:2011-04-21
canada
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Well,

It certainly would give incentive to the flagging dirigible market to increase R&D and the potential spin-offs of which; trans-continental cargo haulage; exotic manufacturing materials; light weight motors; stratospheric weather observations; are only a small sampling. Oh, and a continental wireless access network.

Sounds cool and call me when the Argentina to New York Zeppelin route re-opens.

Madness
Like a flea circus at a dog show

join:2000-01-05
Quincy, MA
kudos:1

???

So... are they partnering w/ Goodyear?
--
Acme Electric Co.: We fix your shorts!

mr sean
Professional Infidel
Premium,ExMod 2001-07
join:2001-04-03
N. Absentia
kudos:1

Re: ???

said by Madness:

So... are they partnering w/ Goodyear?

Maybe with Captain Beefheart...
said by Don Van Vliet :

Look up in the sky there's uh dirigible there
The drazy hoops whirl
You can see them just as they were
All the people stir
'n the girls knees trembles
'n run 'n wave their hands
'n run their hands over the blimp the blimp
Daughter don't yuh dare
Oh momma who cares
It's the blimp it's the blimp


--
How you can make the world a Better Place
therfman0

join:2008-11-01

Not really new...

This is being used in military scenarios right now, and has been for a number of years. The balloons are typically tethered. They are more commonly used for surveillance, but have been shown to work for communication. See here: »www.tcomlp.com/land-surveillance-systems/

mech1164
I'll Be Back

join:2001-11-19
Lodi, NJ

Not that type

Of blimps. If they do them they will be not tethered to the ground and will be above the cloud cover. That way it's still closer that satellite and less latency. The only way they will be knocked out is with a stinger missile. I think they would rather save them for more pressing targets.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Not that type

Watch for high flying Jets

Lone Wolf
Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1

Light Emitting Diodes

So if they use Light Emitting Diodes as warning lights would they be Led Zeppelins?

They may be visible Over the Hills and Far Away.