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SoftBank testing balloon-based emergency base stations

Categories: Softbank
By: , IntoMobile
Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 4:20 AM

SoftBank Mobile wants to be prepared when the next disaster strikes. Following the earthquake and tsunami on March 2011 that left the communications networks struggling to cope, the Japanese carrier started working on a backup solution… and they came with an elegant way to keep the networks running.

The emergency relay system uses a balloon and a satellite to restore mobile phone coverage in areas affected by natural disasters. This communications balloon is tethered to a vehicle-mounted relay station when deployed, providing coverage for around 3km from their anchor point.

The tests were conducted in Aichi Prefecture and since everything apparently works like a charm, the plan is to deploy 10 of these units across the country by the end of the month.

Pretty cool though we hope it won’t be needed at all…

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Dusan Belic

Dusan has been using smartphones since their introduction and is now following the latest trends in the industry. The "convergence" is what he's most excited about, and writing about it is the next logical thing to do. He thinks that using a smartphone is what everyone who cares about their time should do. In addition to his interests in mobile phones, Dusan also loves to experiment with the latest web and mobile 2.0 services. The idea of accessing and managing your information from any device no matter where you are simply amazes him. Whether it's an online to-do list, note taking service or a video sharing social network, he's there to try it out. He admits though, he's still searching for the ultimate web-based organizational tool, which "sings" perfectly with the mobile PIM application. Dusan used to run Symbian Watch which later became part of IntoMobile. He lives in Serbia, South-East Europe, from where he edits the site on a daily basis.