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Space Data Balloon Cell Phone Towers

Google is considering working with, or buying Space Data Corp, a company that provides wireless services via Balloon, according to the WSJ. Space Data Corp hires local residents to launch weather balloons filled with hydrogen. The company targets areas without existing internet access, such as rural areas and highways, providing wireless and internet services to truckers and rural folk. The company currently launches 20 balloons a day, and a single balloon can service an area equivalent to 40 cell phone towers. The balloons cost $50, however the transceivers attached to them cost $1500, but parachute back to the earth once the balloon is no longer in service. See the WSJ video on TechCrunch. What happens when one of these balloons drifts into the engine of a jet airplane? How reliable is it and what is the capacity?

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