Google and Its 99 Broadband Balloons

About: Alphabet Inc. (GOOG)
by: Om Malik
This article is exclusive for subscribers.

Google, according to The Wall Street Journal, is thinking about teaming up with Space Data Corp., a company that sends balloons carrying small (micro) base stations about 20 miles up in the air for providing connectivity to truckers and oil companies. The balloons burst almost every 24 hours and need to be sent up again and again. The electronic payload is retrieved by farmers after it drifts back using a small parachute. The farmers do it because they get $100 per payload retrieved, WSJ says.

The Internet giant — which is now pushing into wireless services — has considered contracting with Space Data or even buying the firm, according to one person…Google believes balloons like these could radically change