Thursday, August 22, 2013

Google Tests Balloon-Borne Wifi Signals

Latest from the innovative Google X Lab is a Central Valley test over Fresno, as the internet giant tries out the possibilities for delivering wifi internet via overhead balloons carrying the digital equipment.  As it turns out, the test, part of what is called Project Loon, had a few problems in a busy urban area of Fresno.  The multitude of stray radio signals passing overhead forced Google to use a great deal of redundant transmission to get through the miasma. For now, that used up a lot of valuable bandwidth and created new challenges to make the balloon wifi work.

Hunter Communication Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Google's latest unconventional project, balloon-borne Wi-Fi service, is being tested in the skies above California's Central Valley.

The Web giant said on Google+ that it has been conducting research flights over parts of its home state to fine tune what it called Project Loon.

That project is an effort by Google to bring Internet access to parts of the world where the necessary infrastructure, such as cell towers, is lacking. Project Loon comes from the Google X lab, which is also responsible for self-driving cars and Google Glass eyewear.

Most recently, Google said Thursday, Project Loon flew over Fresno to test how well the Wi-Fi balloons relayed signals in busy city areas. The project, which was introduced in June, encountered problems during the research flight.

'It turns out that providing Internet access to a busy city is hard because there are already many other radio signals around, and the balloons’ antennas pick up a lot of that extra noise,' the company said."

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