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The New, Better 5G Internet

By: Bryan Wu

Google has started a new top secret project, called Project Skybender, and it aims to deliver 5G internet from drones powered by solar panels. Mountain view has begun experimenting with millimeter wave-based internet in a base in New Mexico. Millimeter waves in theory can transmit data 40 times faster than LTE and could be the technology behind 5G internet.

The advantage of millimeter waves is that it gives us access to a new spectrum, as the existing cellphone spectrum is crowded and has “nowhere else to go.” The problem with millimeter waves is that they fade after a short distance and cannot compare to a mobile phone’s range. This is probably the biggest issue Google is working on, if this project is to become reality.

Project Skybender is currently using an an aircraft called Centaur and a solar-powered drone called Solara 50. Google has permission from the FCC to continue testing the drone-internet system in New Mexico until July. We’ll most likely hear more details as its development progresses, as Google usually keeps us posted on everything it does.


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