UK Broadband Operator Plans Air Masts

EE said that it plans to use what it calls “air masts” in its “Signalling The Future” manifesto, which lays out the UK mobile operator’s $2.3 billion plans to extend its 4G LTE coverage to 99% of the UK population by 2017. 

The operator could use tethered balloons or drones to add rural coverage at lower costs than deploying cell towers. The operator describes the air masts as “essentially aerial small cells positioned in the sky above a hard-to-reach areas.”

EE is one of the first service providers to go public with future coverage plans centered around unmanned vehicles. Such blue-sky thinking has so far been the domain of tech giants like Facebook and Google

However, Australian operator Telstra Corp. Ltd. is helping Google with its “Project Loon,” which aims to deliver Internet from the sky via balloons.  

Of course, we don’t know how these plans might change if and when BT Group plc completes its $19.1 billion buyout of EE.

Source: Light Reading

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