A pioneering project in Mozambique involves World Mobile, a telecoms provider leading the way in utilizing blockchain technology, deploying a tethered aerostat—a light balloon—to provide internet and mobile services to underserved areas. In order to improve connectivity, Vodacom Mozambique is collaborating on this large-scale pilot project by providing resources and spectrum.
Micky Watkins, the CEO of World Mobile, was enthusiastic about the project’s potential effects on Mozambique and emphasized the critical role that rural connectivity plays in promoting social and economic development.“Our aerostats could be the key to unlocking internet access for billions. This technology is not just cost-effective compared to legacy telecom infrastructure but also quick to deploy, making it ideal for remote regions”, Watkins stated.
The project, which started in November 2023, achieved a noteworthy milestone on December 19, 2023, when it made its first successful call utilizing the aerostat technology. According to official announcements, the aerostat, which is positioned at a height of 300 meters (984 feet), is home to telecom equipment that has the astounding ability to connect up to 100,000 users.
Referred to as the world’s first commercial aerostat, the World Mobile aerostat, which is sourced from a third party, is capable of providing connectivity at a speed equivalent to high-speed fiber optic connections and runs without the need for external power.
As per the article, World Mobile utilized underutilized television spectrum and incorporated Starlink technology in previous field tests carried out in Kenya, Mozambique, and Nigeria. In order to deploy mesh networks in Tanzania, the business also worked with IOHK, the creator of the Cardano blockchain.
World Mobile has adopted an economic model in which fiat currency is used as compensation for operators of its AirNodes technical equipment. Participants, including node operators, stakers, and users who stake for discounted services, earn World Mobile Tokens (WMT) on this decentralized physical infrastructure network constructed on the Cardano blockchain.
August 2023 saw the official release of World Mobile’s app on Google Play, a calculated move to increase accessibility. With this change, users can now take advantage of World Mobile’s services in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Tanzania, and Zanzibar.
This creative application of blockchain integration with aerostat technology demonstrates World Mobile’s dedication to resolving connectivity issues in remote areas by providing not only a cutting-edge technological solution but also a viable business plan for all parties concerned. World Mobile’s initiatives have the potential to significantly alter global connectivity landscapes, as it continues to be a leader in this field.