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back to article Hey, operators... 'member our edge-of-SPAAACE interwebs balloons? Help! - Google

Having failed to license spectrum around the globe, Google is now talking to mobile operators to make its Loon project work. Loon is Google’s attempt to provide internet connectivity in rural areas through, er, balloons sent up to the stratosphere. The revelation came in a presentation from Google X labs' Eric "Astro" Teller at …

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Noble idea runs smack into geopolitics

By and large, the tyrants of the world would prefer to _not_ have their serfs connected to the internet. It just foments unrest, don't you know. In particular, see item 4 below and consider information a resource.

The rules of rule:

1. Keep them weak.

2. Keep them dumb.

3. Keep them scared.

4. Control all resources.

5. Divide and conquer.

6. Control their rhythm and pace.

7. Control their chemistry.

8. Control their sex.

9. Jack them around.

10. Use coercion routinely, brute force when necessary.

11. Use deception routinely, the Big Lie when necessary.

12. None of this can show.

13. This is the system; there shall be no other.

Generally speaking, it's the same problem Nikola Tesla ran into with his world wide power transmission idea which, interestingly, was first patented as a transmission between tethered balloons maintained at 30,000 feet. That might have been possible since there were no airplanes back then but, on the other hand, the jet stream was unknown at the time and it's +250MPH winds might wreak havoc on tethered balloons.

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Re: Noble idea runs smack into geopolitics

That, and that his transmission system was horrifically inefficient. Lighting up those bulbs in a field was impressive - but he needed an entire power station to run the transmitter.

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Devil

Re: Noble idea runs smack into geopolitics

One rule left off:

14. Control the religion; God always supports tyrants, just ask them.

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Anonymous Coward

Aptly named "Loon"

As in "crazy as a". Looking to LTE, the most expensive broadband service available wherever it is deployed, as the underpinning for networks intended to provide access for poor, rural populations is simply insane. No one except the super rich will be able to afford that service. What really appears to have happened here is that Google failed in its effort to do an end run around the telcos and deliver wireless broadband at a price its target audience could afford, but won't admit defeat to preserve the tender egos of those involved. Simply put, the telcos won, ordinary people lost. End of story. Google might actually be able to contribute something if it came clean about this and simply cancelled the project, with a note to governments everywhere that its failure was due to a hopelessly corrupt system.

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The fact that normal base-stations don't transmit upwards is just to save wasted transmitter power. If Google wants to put something up there that transmits downwards, then that's fine. I think that most mobile terminals (*) actually transmit in every direction, so they don't really care where the "base station" is.

As for frequency re-use, that is another issue. Normally the telcos size each cell to avoid overlaps using the same channels. So if you want to stick something else in the same space, the normal base stations will have to stop using certain channels to allow Google to use them (even worse to completely re-plan their spectrum usage on the fly.) This would reduce the total bandwidth available to the telco's basestations (although if they get the bw from Google, they could compensate).

I would have though that in congested areas, they wouldn't really want to do that. The only thing that I think would work would be if the telco reduced the cell sizes in the area where the balloon points it's antenna to effectively get an extra base-station in the middle, that wanders through their network as it moves overhead. In that case it would need very good pointing accuracy to ensure that it didn't bleed into ajoining cells using the same channels.

Another issue is that the stratosphere is a lot further away than your normal base-station, so mobiles will have to use more power, and timing will become more of an issue.

(*) There are rumours of a handset that only transmitted in varying directions if you were holding it wrongly.

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The more I think about it..

The less practical this becomes from both technical and political standpoints.

One major thing Google misses is that the networks hate Google. They believe, rightly or wrongly, they should have the apps revenue and that Google and Apple have stolen their lunch money.

Now Google wants to lease them infrastructure? Pah!

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Idiots

They may be experts at selling advertising, slurping users's information and Search. But they really ought to listen to an RF / Comms Engineer.

This project is doomed.

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WTF?

Re: Idiots

"This project is doomed"

Even if they make the balloons look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?!

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Coat

Re: Idiots

Now that really is just pissing in the wind.

Especially if they cross the streams.

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Re: Idiots

It will work if they only clear their minds of all thoughts and images and don't think of anything.

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