In North Dakota, former Gov. Ed Schafer is backing a plan to loft wireless network repeaters on balloons high above the state to fill gaps in cellular coverage.Cool idea. Could also be good for 3rd world where building infrastructure is tough and people live in remote locations.
To cover every square mile of North Dakota, it would take 1,100 cell towers," Schafer said. "We can do the whole state with three balloons."
If successful, the hydrogen-filled balloons could be drifting across the stratosphere above North Dakota this summer, providing cellular coverage at a tiny fraction of the cost of building cellular towers.
Knoblach said the balloons cost about $55 each. Schafer said it costs about $250,000 to build one cellular tower in North Dakota, and many remote areas don't have enough customers to pay for it.
via Seattle PI