Google's Project Skybender is Testing 5G Internet Drones

By Tom Pritchard on at

The future of 5G and the internet is still a bit unclear, but it seems as though big tech companies have decides the traditional stuff isn't going to work. Just like Facebook before it, Google's apparently testing drones as the means of doing it.

According to a report at The Guardian, Google's testing solar powered drones in Spaceport America, the former New Mexico home of Virgin Galactic. Project Skybender, as it's called, will be testing some prototype transceivers and 5G drones that use milimeter wave radio transmissions to offer internet speeds 40 times faster than current 4G networks.

Sounds pretty incredible, right? Sadly there's a downside to that. Milimeter wave transmissions use 28GHz frequencies, which has roughly a tenth of the range of standard 4G/LTE. So obviously you'd need a lot more drones to keep everyone connected, and that's provided Google can even get the tech to work in the first place.

Apparently getting the system going is a complicated endeavour, and requires one hell of a lot of power to keep it operational. Thankfully the tech giant is trying to figure out some workarounds. That said, the whole project remains completely theoretical for the time being.

Still, if they can get this working it's a system that would be a hell of a lot more convenient than pumping our internet through wires in the ground. [The Guardian via The Next Web]

Featured image via Spaceport America