Consisting of large aerostat balloons, it will help bring connectivity to remote areas.
UK-based telecommunications provider World Mobile has launched a new hybrid mobile broadband network over the African country of Zanzibar.
It consists of many solar powered, aerostat balloons which are remotely controlled and tethered to the ground. Once they’ve been sent into the air, they act as a base station and work to transmit the necessary signals to consumer devices and ground stations alike.
World Mobile’s network is the first of its kind to launch for commercial use over Africa and aims to give over 1 million people in Zanzibar access to the internet by the end of 2023.
In comparison to digging up the ground and laying miles of cabling, this is a significantly cheaper way of bringing reliable connectivity to these more remote areas of the planet.
The company is also currently in talks with government employees in other parts of Africa, like Kenya and Tanzania, which aren’t as well served by current broadband infrastructure about the possibility of expansion.
Google had a similar project in development called Project Loon which was officially cancelled in January 2021 due to not being able to settle on a low-cost sustainable business model.
“World Mobile’s service launch of affordable internet service in Zanzibar will be a game changer allowing the vast majority of Zanzibaris to fully participate in the digital revolution,” said Micky Watkins, Mobile World’s chief executive.
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