Lately there’s been a lot of talk and news around Google being deeply involved in a new initiative to bring Wireless internet to places like Africa, and other emerging markets. This weekend we learned the search giant might use blimps or balloons they’re calling high-altitude WiFi platforms.

The news of Google working hard to improve the internet access across Africa, Asia, and many other emerging markets is important, interesting, and wonderful. Even more interesting however, is just exactly how they plan to carry out this initiative. Instead of the traditional wired cables, they’ll tackle the entire project from the air.

While last week the WSJ reported Google is developing low-price Android smartphones that will operate on WiFi using old radio and TV broadcast airwaves and spectrum, the second part of that plan are blimps. Some sources even state the Mountain View company is already deep into developing this next-gen platform for internet delivery.

These WiFi balloons or blimps will use “high-altitude platforms” to boost and deliver a wireless signal across an area spanning hundreds of square miles, or more. From Africa to Southeast Asia all getting access to the internet with this new plan Google estimates they’ll be connecting nearly 1 billion people to the world wide web.

We’re hearing small field trials have already started in Cape Town and other parts of Africa, and this is just the beginning. Google will be funding this while leading the charge the entire way. It looks like areas with poor telecommunications are about to get some Google-inspired internet services.



  1. interesting they recently bought an airborne wind power generator group, combine them and you have multiple uses

    • Because the Africans without internet access and with a lower standard of living than ours, want to watch Internet movies 24/7 for $100/yr, right?

  2. They’re just trying to get their google ads out to more people, they’re not doing this because they’re nice.

  3. Go home you are nuts, pleas stop exposing your foolishness and idiocy

    Google high-altitude blimps aim to bring WiFi to Africa ,< who told you there is no wifi in Africa? be specific which places when you are writing your rubbish.. you cow!

  4. yeah here in idaho you do not have to go far until the only internet providers that will reach you are satelite… which kind of sucks.

  5. Oh for fuck’s sake, that’s a US or ISAF blimp in Afghanistan that somebody photoshopped Google onto. You can see the HESCOs in the background.

  6. I know quite a few people from Africa, Egypt to be specific…There’s wifi there… shouldn’t there be food on this blimp instead?

  7. This is cool, but the stupidest thing i have ever heard of. Africa??? Why not the U.S. or Europe, A place where there is a real market for it. And I agree what about refueling? reliability? I would think it would make more sense to put up towers to put those non wired wifi devices on, and would cost far less… sustainability!


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