Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a repeater?

As reported by the AP, Extend America and Space Data Corp have plans to blanket rural areas with cellular coverage using hydrogen filled disposable balloons. Providers may be able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure if the experiment goes well. The upside for the consumer is cheaper and more easily accessible cell coverage. I would imagine that this model could be adjusted for other data services like wireless broadband access. Let's all cross our fingers.

"To cover every square mile of North Dakota, it would take 1,100 cell towers," Schafer said. "We can do the whole state with three balloons."
Test Balloons for Cellular Service-Yahoo! News [Via Engadget]


frenchie said...

After the electronic equipment is released, the balloons rise and expand with the drop in air pressure until they burst. Knoblach said the balloons cost about $55 each.
--No mention as to what happens to the ballon after this? Just a guess, but I bet the EPA might have a problem with balloon fragments landing in random places on a commercial level.

Alex said...

True. But I guess if each balloon covers a huge area, then the waste is not really all that concentrated. I don't know.