The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is considering buying a balloon company that will provide wireless services to those living in rural areas of the U.S.
Arizona based Space Data Corp creates disposable hydrogen filled balloons packed with miniature versions of cell phone towers inside of them to provide internet access to those people who have a hard time getting it.
They launch 10 balloons a day across the Southern U.S, which fly about 20 miles up in the sky and a single balloon can service an area equivalent to 40 cell phone towers.
The balloons cost $50, however the transceivers attached to them cost $1500. Fortunately they parachute back to the earth once the balloon is no longer in service.
Below is a video from The Wall Street Journal which explains this service in greater detail.
So just why would Google want to invest in balloons? Besides the fact that it is a cheap and efficient method of providing cell phone and wireless mobile access, I think that by associating themselves with this wireless service then the Google brand will be more recognized amongst these users.
I’m sure Google would also hope that these users would use their search engine for internet search, therefore increasing even further their market share in search in the U.S which currently stands at 58.4% in January 2008.
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Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.