Sanswire Networks, the stratellite division of GlobeTel Communications Corp. (Booth 1253), at TELECOM 05 debuted its airships equipped with radios that beam voice, video and data services over 126,000 square miles.
The company aims to convince carriers and governments worldwide that the Sanswire Stratellites which outwardly resemble blimps are the service delivery products of the future. Robert A. Jones, president of Sanswire, who helped design the airships, say they are far cheaper than satellites and provide much less latency since they are only 13 miles above Earth, as opposed to dozens.
Indeed, Jones envisions a scenario where a person in Death Valley one of the worlds harshest and most inaccessible areas is totally connected. Imagine hopping onto the Internet from Death Valley while talking on your cell phone and watching television, he says, all because an airship is beaming coverage.
In Sanswires mind, a nations government can provide its citizens with next-generation communications capabilities simply by sending airships outfitted with the companys proprietary radio into the ether.
For example, 300 airships would cover the entire United States, Jones says. The product is ideal, adds Daniyel Erdberg, president of GlobeTel VoIP, for countries with little or no telecom infrastructure. Instead of fiber, float an airship, he says.
On the practical side, if an airship needs to be brought down from the stratosphere for repairs, replacements, upgrades or general maintenance, Sanswire says it will send another up so service is not interrupted. The company created the technology to be monitored and accessed remotely, however, so the hope is the stratellites will not need to be brought down very often.
Erdberg says one of the implications of the stratellites is that people throughout the world could get phones and other devices cheaply, but it was not clear who would fund such an initiative and how that equipment would be distributed.
Sanswire hopes to appeal not only to governments but also to carriers. The company says carriers can lease its equipment and beam services to users. Each stratellite is intended to serve up to 1 million subscribers.
So far Sanswire says it has signed a contract with the country of Columbia, as well as a letter of intent with a company in Japan. Jones and Erdberg could not reveal more details except to say Sanswire has garnered interest from Indian, African and Central American governments.
The bottom line is to make communication affordable, Jones says.