- Jan 31, 2009
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.
Google has also considered using satellites to achieve the same goal. "There's not going to be one technology that will be the silver bullet," an unnamed source told the Wall St Journal. A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
Meanwhile, back on the ground, Google lobbyists are targeting regulators across developing countries to allow them to use airwaves currently reserved for television broadcasts - which operate at lower frequencies and can therefore penetrate buildings and travel longer distances than current WiFi technology.
Full Article: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/26/google-blimps
This would be a pretty cool development considering how computing in Africa is mostly restricted to mobiles in a lot of places and cost prohibitive to invest in the infrastructure for some regions.