Helikite Aerostats to Provide 4G Coverage for All of Australia
A new white paper entitled, 'Aerostats All Australia AAA Mobile Coverage' has just been released, describing how the whole of Australia could be provided with 4G coverage at very low cost. The author is Mr Ben Livson with contributions from Mr Sandy Allsopp, Professor Reg Coutts, Dr Haken Eriksson and many other industry experts.
Aerostats All Australia (AAA) endeavours to extend Mobile Coverage of Australia’s land mass and surrounding sea with lighterthan-air, tethered Helikite aerostats as a disruptive innovative breakthrough technology - reducing costs by at least an order of magnitude in comparison to all other alternatives.
Most of Australia Lacks 4G.
The ongoing lack of 4G coverage is a growing problem for people living in the Australian countryside who are becoming increasingly disadvantaged compared to those with mobile services. This acts disproportionately badly on native peoples. There are also safety concerns for people in trouble in the bush and with no way of contacting the emergency services.
The AAA vision is to provide mobile coverage, with low latency, to anyone with a mobile handset, so opening up interactive realtime Internet applications for remote Australia. AAA proposes to provide 4G over the remaining 70% of Australia not currently covered, to assist the realisation of the huge potential of the country and nation. This will be achieved in stages over a multi-year plan.
Presently, the high cost of installing and maintaining many thousands of masts required to cover the less inhabited 70% is the reason for the lack of coverage. The heavily funded Australian 'Universal Service Agreement' and the 'Regional Mobile Black Spot Program' only add 2% coverage per year, which is far too little, too late. Masts cannot provide Australia with 4G.
Helikite Aerostats to Lift 4G Base Stations
Helikites have already lifted 4G base stations in Europe. Lighter-than-air Helikite aerostats are an order of magnitude cheaper to deploy than masts and fly thousands of feet high, providing 4G connectivity over vast areas. One Helikite can cover the same areas as numerous masts. Being tethered means that Helikites stay in position permanently which is far more practical and economical than free-floating balloons such as Google 'Loons'. Helikites are capable of withstanding very high winds because, being the world's only lighter-than-air kite, Helikites are pushed up by wind rather than down. Helikites are presently used by the Australian Special Forces for over-the-horizon radio communications. Compared to normal large aerostats, tough, compact, Helikites' are well suited to the Australian conditions and are very economical to operate per day. When there is no wind, the
helium-filled Helikites fly with no problems. Backhaul is simple as it can be by via the existing fibre-optic network where available, or by satellite.
Only 250 Helikite aerostats flying at 1,200 metres would be needed to cover the whole of Australia. This is a simple matter compared to all other solutions. No extra capital funding is needed, because the capital cost of this could be paid by redirecting the funding for the 'Universal Service Agreement' and the 'Regional Mobile Blackspot Program' to the AAA solution. The maintenance costs would be covered by mobile phone subscribers.
The AAA system can provide 4G coverage over Australia within a short time. The same technology can also be used anywhere else that lacks 4G, such as large areas of USA, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia and far-flung Island Nations.