U.K. network operator EE plans to deliver 4G internet access from a kite-like balloon first developed as an observation and communications platform for the military.
The Helikite was invented in the 1990s and has also found favor with Antarctic explorers, disaster relief workers and emergency services. EE revealed its plans to deliver wide-area network coverage from the helium-filled balloons on Tuesday, although it won’t have the first one in service until later in the year.
According to Allsopp Helikites, the maker of the kite-balloons, hoisting a 4G base station aloft can increase its range from 3 kilometers to between 30 km and 80 km.
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