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This article was published on January 30, 2016

Report: Google testing 5G drones that deliver internet 40 times faster than 4G

Report: Google testing 5G drones that deliver internet 40 times faster than 4G
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

According to a records obtained by The Guardian, Google is testing solar-powered drones at Spaceport America, a New Mexico facility that formerly played host to Virgin Galactic.

The project, codenamed SkyBender, aims to test several prototype transcievers and drones using millimeter wave radio transmissions.

Millimeter transmissions occupy the 28GHz frequency and although the range is shorter than that of current 4G technologies, the speeds are incredible.

Theoretically milimeter wave technology can transfer multiple gigabits of data per second, up to 40 times more than current 4G LTE systems.

Getting millimeter wave technology working from a high-flying drone is going to be a challenge, but Google is working on several potential fixes, such as a high tech antenna used phased array technology.

For now, this is very much a theoretical project.

SkyBender is part of a small Google Access team that includes Project Loon, another aerial experiment for delivering high speed internet.

Google has permission from the FCC to continue these tests until July.

Project Skybender: Google’s secretive 5G internet drone tests revealed [The Guardian]