Google is actively trying to bring internet access to some of the world’s most remote areas, and of course it would have every reason to do so as increased internet coverage would dramatically increase the company’s reach and revenue. Apart from Project Loon, which aims to provide internet access using a fleet of hot-air balloons, the company is also working on a project called SkyBender, which could potentially be even more impressive. SkyBender relies on large solar-powered drones, which are reportedly being tested at a New Mexico-based facility named Spaceport America. Google’s experts are currently testing a series of prototype transceivers and drones that make use of something called millimetre wave radio transmissions.
On paper, this technology could support transfers of multiple Gigabits of data per second, which means that it could deliver speeds of up to 40 times greater when compared to regular 4G, LTE communications systems. Obviously, implementing the tech on a large solar-powered drone is going to be quite challenging, but Google is confident that it will be able to overcome the main obstacles soon enough. One potential fix would be to implement a high-tech antenna that would make use of phased array technology. The Federal Communications Commission has allowed the company to conduct further testing until July, and we will keep you updated on its progress.