As a tech industry titan, Google thrives off of people worldwide being able to freely access the Internet. But what might shock you is that around 60 percent of the world’s population does not have access to the Internet. That’s a huge market, and one that Google hopes to tap into with Project Skybender, their latest endeavor to provide Internet access all across our great blue planet. So, what was Google’s first step with Project Skybender to achieve this lofty goal? Purchasing a drone manufacturer of course!
In tandem with Google’s wider Google Access initiative, Project Skybender is currently testing solar-powered drones over the deserts of New Mexico with the goal of establishing speedy 5G Internet connections globally. With a souped up command center and a leased hangar from Virgin Galactic, Google is putting drones to the task of delivering Internet access to people everywhere.
With two specialty UAV aircrafts being tested, Google isn’t pulling any punches with Skybender. The most noteworthy is their very own solar-powered Titan drone, which would cruise and hover in the lower atmosphere, absorb solar energy and transform it into unprecedented and completely accessible gigabit Internet access and connectivity. Rounding out Project Skybender’s efforts is a Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft.
Utilizing millimeter wave technology, which enables Internet speeds that are up to 40 times faster than the 4G cellular tech in today’s market, Project Skybender could result in some of the fastest available Internet speeds that would give millions of people unprecedented access to the Internet for the first time. The caveat with using millimeter wave signals is that 5G Internet broadcasts have about a tenth of the range as their 4G counterparts. But those smarties at Google are already cooking up ways to extend the range of 5G access, like using focused beams and phased-array antennas.
If Google can figure out a way around the limited scope of 5G waves to provide expansive and extremely fast Internet connectivity to areas of the world that still remain in the dark, we might soon be seeing a lot of Project Skybender’s Titan drones cruising our skies and turning our sun’s energy into sweet, sweet Internet access.