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Google is making advancements on its journey to connect more people to the internet. There’s a secret project it has been reportedly working on codenamed the SkyBender at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
This new project is an experimentation with drones floating in the sky and beaming internet to ground users in remote areas. The 5G speed internet that this project aims to deliver would be achieved through millimeter wave transmission technology, according to Google’s plan. This specific range of speed would be able to transmit data 40 times faster than our usual 4G LTE does.
Centaur, the drone currently being tested in the air, was most probably manufactured by the drone maker company Titan Aerospace which Google acquired in 2014. These drones are optionally piloted, solar powered and have activated Wi-Fi laser. However, they do provide less area of coverage compared to 4G cellphone signals since the broadcast wave is clocked at just 28GHz.
The SkyBender project is allegedly operated under Google Access Division which is also known to be working on project Loon. Project Loon was an initiative with a similar purpose of bringing remote areas of the world online but with a floating, Wi-Fi beaming balloon instead of drones. Why Loon and SkyBender projects are separately tested and what are the search engine giant’s intention behind it are not clear at this moment. The fact that they are put to practice in isolated facilities prove that Google is prioritizing tight secrecy around these projects.
Project SkyBender might continue till July and we might have to wait longer than that to receive some insights on its progress. Unfortunately, the chances of millimeter wave technology not turning out to be effective enough in execution are moderate. But Google’s approach to bring revolution in the next generation internet service through SkyBender promises great things.
Free internet coming from an afloat drone! Does it sound too good to be true? We’d love to hear your take on this!