What is it with the idea of large floating broadband offerings? We've written about a number of different concepts over the years from aerostats to HAPs (high altitude platforms) to the most popular of all, stratellites which have raised some doubt from skeptics. There are technology hurdles, but even more importantly, there are business model hurdles. In the face of competition it's hard to see how this can be done economically, especially when you take into account the likelihood of high latency rates. About a year ago, the stratellite folks sold out to someone else, and I said I'd believe that the system works when I'm actually surfing the web via a stratellite. I might just get the chance, but I'll have to go to Peru to try. Plans are apparently underway to launch some of these floating broadband blimps in South America. Of course, the second part of my question -- how expensive will service be, is not answered at all. Still, it looks like they want to make up for that by including evey possible kind of service imaginable from these high flying blimps: "wireless broadband, cellular, 3G/4G mobile, MMDS, paging, fixed wireless telephony, HDTV and others." You can make arguments for why many of these make very little sense (that's an awful lot of traffic going through one base station, for instance...) but maybe they hope the business model works by "volume" of services offered, rather than volume of customers served.
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