Wireless Internet service received from hovering blimps has been talked about on several occasions. For right now it’s a niche industry serving the transportation and energy industries. The company providing the technology is Space Data, based in Chandler, AZ. According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Google is interested in investing in or maybe buying Space Data, with the hopes of launching competitive wireless service targeting rural markets.
The balloons are launched on a daily basis, because they only remain airborne for 24 hours, before their electronic transceiver equipment floats back to earth by parachute (see movie above for a demonstration). Each balloon can cover a geographic territory that would normally require 40 cell phone towers. It’s unclear what type of broadband speeds, if any, such an application can provide (we’ve placed a call into Space Data, for clarification).