If you ever wondered what will be the next step in internet connection methods, look no further because Google Skybender will offer 5G internet by using drones powered by solar energy. Tests have been underway since the summer of 2015, with drone prototypes already in development as we speak, a manufacturing process overseen by Goggle’s R&D team previously engaged in Project Loon.
According to various reports, the company is in the process of developing millimeter wave-based internet transceivers at Spaceport America in new Mexico. This initiative is made possible by a partnership between google and the Gateway to Space program owned by Virgin Galactic.
Basically, the Skybender program can be summarized as mobile wireless internet hot spots that will patrol specific locations around the globe, providing 5G speeds in the process. 5G is a new type of internet connectivity that can provide speeds 40 times higher than the current 4G LTE.
But a problem does surface when talking about 5G transmitted through millimeter waves. This connection has a much more limited range in comparison to 4G, requiring Google to come up with a viable plan in regards to cost and effectiveness. It won’t be much of an upgrade if dozens of these drones will be required to fly over one city constantly in order for 5G internet to remain stable.
The reason behind choosing millimeter waves in order to transmit information stems from the fact that the normal radio waves used by mobile phones are extremely overcrowded. In layman’s terms, if these drones would use the same frequencies, it would be like plugging several devices into only one access router, slowing down speeds accordingly.
Fortunately, giving the sheer size of the Google company, these hindrances will be more or less circumvented in the near future. Skybender is part of the same initiative of giving internet access to developing countries previously focused on hot air balloons fitted with several transceivers. But the drones suffer the same problems like the aforementioned balloons. Depending on their flight height and flight patterns, they might pose some serious problems for airplane travel or come under threats from various weather events like storms or high winds.
The idea that Google Skybender will offer 5G internet by using drones powered by solar energy in the near future is still long ways off. But, the process of developing a reliable way of transmitting 5G through millimeter waves might gain a boost in speeds, given the fact that technology advances exponentially, being pushed forward by each and every breakthrough made being made.