June 18, 2009
Spaceloon may soon be the answer to broadband problems in Africaby Gareth Mankoo
A few small and simple things harbor some fantastic ideas. Let’s take the case of the Spaceloon for instance. It’s an ingenious thought by two Nigerian entrepreneurs, Timothy Anyasi and Collins Nwani who have come up with the idea of using “near space technology” by a American company Space Data, throughout Africa. The duo is working on a strategy that involves sending a hot air balloon up in the sky till it reaches heights between 80,000 to 100,000 feet. These balloons acts as communication links between users who contact them using modems and earth bound network operation centers. The balloons come down once in 24 hours since the batteries running the devices run out of juice.
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The Spaceloon project will be initiated in four countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria. Customers will only have to purchase a locally made dish that costs $10 once this project is complete. Currently, they have to purchase a VSAT for a whopping $10,000!