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World Mobile, Altaeros partner to launch aerostat balloons to connect the unconnected in Africa

Published : Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 9:32 am
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World Mobile, the first mobile network built on blockchain and run by the people, partners with Altaeros, developers of the world’s first autonomous aerostats, to connect the unconnected. Through this partnership, Altaeros and World Mobile will provide low-altitude aerostats (tethered balloon platforms) with a coverage area of approximately 8,000 km^2 each, forming part of World Mobile's Dynamic Network. World Mobile plans to launch these balloons across Africa to connect hundreds of millions of people. Several aerostats will launch in Zanzibar anchoring the network and delivering connectivity near to 100% of the island. Each aerostat will connect hundreds of thousands of subscribers and each subscriber on the network will create a blockchain wallet. World Mobile will be deploying thousands of aerostats across the continent.

The aerostat system consists of a helium-filled envelope and stabilising fins. The unique 3-tethered architecture limits the aerostat's movement in the air (pitch, roll and yaw), which is essential in stabilizing telco coverage so connectivity doesn't drop in and out. The aerostat is attached to a movable mooring platform with built-in software that adjusts the balloon's position depending on wind conditions. The onboard communication system, using beamforming technology (a technique that focuses a wireless signal towards a specific receiving device) will allow 3G, 4G and 5G handsets to connect directly and will also connect WM AirNodes in the vicinity via traditional and alternative spectrums.

“We’re on a journey to bring modern infrastructure to billions of un-served and under-served people around the world. We’re driven by a belief that business and technical innovation are the keys to creating a positive, scalable impact. World Mobile is the perfect partner to work with to deliver our vision as they strive to connect the unconnected, everywhere,” says Altaeros CEO/CTO Ben Glass.

“World Mobile is on a mission to connect the unconnected and build the first mobile network powered and run by the people. Working with leading tech partners who share our values will make us stronger," says World Mobile Founder and CEO Micky Watkins.

World Mobile is the first mobile network powered and run by the people. Their fearless commitment to community, the environment, and technology will help them go where no telecom has gone before. By joining forces with their users, they’ll connect billions of unconnected people worldwide—allowing everyone the freedom to explore the world.

Altaeros is on a mission is to help bring connectivity to those who need it most. Founded at MIT in 2010, Altaeros is focused on developing and deploying innovative real-world infrastructure solutions to bring affordable services anywhere needed, helping businesses and communities access the basic building blocks to allow for prosperity. Altaeros is headquartered in Somerville, MA.


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