Balloons to boost phone signal

| Technology

Balloons to boost phone signal

In the moderately near future, we may see floating mobile masts in our skies.

It may sound a bit odd but EE has confirmed they will be exploring a new technology called “Air Masts” in order to help bridge the gaps in signal coverage in hard to reach areas around the United Kingdom.

These Air Masts are basically small cell networks that are attached to balloons or unmanned aircrafts that float around the sky improving mobile and internet signals, especially those blackspots.

EE are following in Google’s footsteps with these Air Masts, with Google officially starting research and development in 2013 with the mission to bring internet access to rural and remote areas by using high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere to create an aerial wireless network with 3G speeds. The project was named Project Loon.

Unfortunately, there are no details on when EE may take these Air Masts to the sky but they really could be the answer to covering blackspots throughout the UK.

EE 4G coverage

EE have said they will have 98% of the UK population covered by its 4G network by the end of 2015, so is it possible that these Air Masts may be released into the skies sometime this year?

EE had originally said that 98% of the UK population would have 4G coverage by the end of 2014, however this wasn’t possible due to Ofcom license fees.

With BT having recently acquired EE, it is likely that heavier investments into the 4G roll out will ensue, especially with the increasing pressure from the now largest operating network in the UK Three/O2. 

Luke Stanley