High-speed wireless networks to arrive in Sub-Saharan Africa

The biggest internet browser, Google is planning to establish high-speed wireless networks in sub-Saharan Africa. The plan of action is to set up high-altitude balloons that can transmit signals across hundreds of square kilometres.

Google is already operating high-speed fibre networks in Utah, Missouri and Texas. With a shift in focus, the world-wide browser wishes to connect 1 billion additional people to the internet across emerging markets such as Africa and is ready to team up with telecom firms and equipment providers to build networks that will improve speeds in cities and bring the internet to rural areas. South-east Asia is another region on Google’s agenda.

Wall Street Journal reported that in order to achieve internet access in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Google is looking at a mix of technologies,  including broadcasting signals from masts, satellites and even remote-controlled balloons known as blimps.

With smartphone penetration already higher than 50% in many western markets, mobile manufacturers are racing to connect customers in emerging markets. Google is highly focused on these new markets and is consequently creating low-cost Nexus smartphones and tablets.

Cape Town, South Africa saw the first trial wireless broadband network involving three masts at Stellenbosch University’s campus to transmit to 10 local schools. The trial, which began in March, uses unlicensed “white space” radio waves – unused channels in the broadcast TV spectrum.

The Google team is well experienced, and certainly confident in their abilities. Google additionally has worked with the University of California to send phones running Android software into near-space with the use of high-altitude balloons. These balloons travel over 100,000 feet from the earth and they were equipped with still and video cameras as a means to capture data

and information. Eventually these balloons pop and fall back down to earth which is when you can retrieve the footage.

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