A Bird? A Plane? No, It’s a Google Balloon Beaming the Internet

A commercial deal in Kenya marks the first application of balloon-powered internet in Africa, the region with the lowest percentage of internet users globally.

The balloons, made from sheets of polyethylene, are the size of tennis courts. They are powered by solar panels and controlled by software on the ground. While up in the air, they act as “floating cell towers,” transmitting internet signals to ground stations and personal devices. They last for well over 100 days in the stratosphere before being returned to earth.

Read more: The New York Times



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