World Mobile, a London, UK-based mobile network provider, is launching a unique hybrid mobile network supported by low altitude platform balloons in Zanzibar, as it plans to roll out its innovative service providing reliable mobile internet to more people at a lower cost throughout the African continent.
World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, providing a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people compared to rolling out legacy internet infrastructure.
The remotely controlled aerostat balloons are powered by solar panels, inflated by helium and tethered to the ground.
Once airborne, they act as floating cellular base stations transmitting radio signals to ground stations and personal devices.
The project – the first since a successful $40 million raise – will deliver coverage and access to the digital economy for over 1 million people in Zanzibar by end of 2023.