Google May Build Huge Wireless Network Using Floating Balloons
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is considering either a partnership or a full-on buyout of Space Data Corp—a company that provides balloon-based wireless networks. If you think that seems a little strange, consider this: the balloons can help bring wireless service to individuals in rural areas and they can be launched on the cheap—about $50 to launch the balloon, $1500 for the receiver, and a $100 finder’s fee for recovery after the balloon returns to earth.
Additionally, a BusinessWeek article from last month revealed that Space Data believes it can cover the whole country with a WiMax broadband network with just 370 balloons. Compare that with the 22,000 or so towers that would be necessary using traditional methods.