Not being able to place a call, send a text, load up a web page, or send a tweet because you’re in the middle of no where (or in downtown Chicago and running on AT&T) is frustrating to say the least. For me at least, I couldn’t go through a normal day without my phone. It’s my “windows to the world”. You wouldn’t think that northern Indiana is that big of a deal in the grander scheme of things but we just so happen to have pretty decent to phenomenal wireless coverage from many wireless providers. Other users in remote regions can’t say the same thing. Remote regions in states such as Colorado, Montana, Utah, etc. are full of mountains trees, and all kinds of other obstacles that make wireless providers work extra hard just to get a signal across from point a to point b. Looking for a low cost and quickly scalable option, Space Data set out to create just that. Today they released information on tests concerning their “SkySite” system, and the results look pretty promising.

The concept isn’t too hard to grasp. Essentially it’s a weather balloon-like device that carries a CDMA 1X-RTT base station to altitudes ranging from 20,000 - 60,000 feet! The tower operates in the 1900MHz PCS band (with a 2.4GHz microwave powered back-haul) and allowed testers to place and receive calls on your normal, run of the mill CDMA handsets from as far as 60 miles away from the SkySite device. Talk about long distance… The average distance between towers on earth is only a couple of miles at best. But of course, down here on the ground there are a considerably greater amount of obstacles and signal killing objects.

Once the tests were down, the base station was cut loose from it’s aerial tour guide and parachuted back to mother earth showing that not only is it fast and relatively inexpensive but also efficient too as you don’t have to destroy or let go of the devices for repeat use.

Like any great forward thinking start up looking to make it big, they hope that CDMA wireless providers will realize the potential SkySite will bring. With as focused as companies are on profits these days, just mention $$ savings and I’m sure they’ll get at least a few carriers on board. So residents of lands left reasonably untouched by man can soon make a call via the wonderful world of mobile devices. Super huh?


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