The initiatives of Google and Facebook “bursted”, but there are startups who believe in Internet coverage “from heaven”.
At the recent Mobile World Congress, one of the main topics was the problem of accessing the Internet in hard-to-reach places or in war zones, reports EuroNews. Both operators and users are interested in having reliable coverage. It seems that a kind of “flying base stations” can come to the rescue.
Balls for Internet coverage did not “take off”
At one time, Google and Facebook tried to implement the ubiquitous Internet with the help of special aircraft. The search giant relied on hot air balloons, which, moving, would cover large areas with communications, where it is difficult to stretch a cable or install base stations. Balloons created as part of the Loon project would be filled with helium, and solar panels would provide autonomy.
Google Balloon Pilot Shut Down Due to Economic Unprofitability
However, the project ran into financial difficulties and was closed – the maintenance of the balls would have been too expensive, and the final cost of the Internet would have been unbearable for the layman. Google conducted a test implementation of its idea in Kenya and Peru, and it turned out that it was not financially profitable for either side.
Facebook drones turned out to be very expensive and futuristic
Facebook launched the Aquila project in 2018. It was supposed to distribute the Internet to everyone with the help of drones flying in near-Earth orbit. But here the financial costs overlapped the expected benefits and the project was also closed.
Internet from hydrogen powered drones
Richard Deakin, CEO of Stratospheric Platforms, believes in his idea for high-altitude hydrogen drones. He believes that IT giants simply made a mistake in choosing technologies and economic strategies in their projects, because their ideas failed.
His hydrogen-powered drone is able to fly over the area for a week on a single charge and distribute Internet in hard-to-reach places. “Recently, we did some calculations for a Middle East client, and it turned out that for his needs, you need to fly 49 very large solar-powered aircraft to do the same job as one of our UAVs,” he said.
Just one HAP can replace 450 telecom masts
Photo: Social networks
Deakin’s hydrogen drones will fly to over 18 km, well above the flight path of civil aircraft. The 3m x 3m phased array will scatter 500 independently steerable beams.
“One hydrogen-powered drone can do the same job as 450 telecom masts,” says the CEO of Stratospheric Platforms. For example, it would take just 24 hydrogen drones to cover the whole of the UK with a reliable 5G network.
Deakin’s company has completed the financial miscalculations of its concept and is now raising money to build its prototype, a hydrogen aircraft that will autonomously pilot itself, emitting signals over a much wider area than current telecom towers can send. Stratospheric Platforms plans to launch its hydrogen-powered drones in 3 years.
Earlier, Focus wrote that with the help of a drone, a former policeman saved 1,400 dogs: how did he do it.
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