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Balloons to bring wider mobile coverage to U.S.
Posted on 28-Aug-2003 19:41. | Tags Filed under: News.

While urban dwellers often experience iffy wireless reception, anyone working in America's sparsely populated middle is lucky to find a signal at all. Chandler, Arizona, start-up Space Data has a solution that could bring the whole spectrum of wireless services to the wide, open spaces.

Space Data is developing an innovative system to provide wireless communications coverage in unserved suburban and rural areas. The system consists of a network of wireless repeaters operating at approximately 20 miles above the earth's surface. The system will enable users of wireless devices to communicate from areas that are not economical to cover with antenna towers. Towers can only cost effectively serve 80% of the U.S Population.

The system combines low-cost, commercial electronics with the wide field of view previously available only from satellites.
Their plan is to attach communication electronics to small, expendable weather balloons, the communication platform called SkySite, which will float to 20 miles above the earth's surface, provide communications services for approximately 12 to 24 hours, and then be replenished with a new "constellation" of ballooncraft.

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