Sky Station International is counting on its blimps to beat Angel to the punch in the race to deliver high-speed Internet access from high altitudes. Sky Station calls its blimps lighter-than-air platforms, and plans to station these airships over at least 250 cities worldwide, one over each city. Each station would fly at an altitude of 13 miles (21 km) and provide wireless service to an area of approximately 7,500 square miles (19,000 square km).
Each blimp will be powered by solar and fuel cells and be equipped with a telecommunications payload to provide wireless broadband connections. The blimps will be able to carrying payloads of up to about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg). Sky Station believes it can have its first blimp deployed by 2002. Each blimp will have a life span of about five to 10 years. Sky Station says that its user terminals will enable broadband connections of between 2 and 10 megabits per second (Mbps). Click here to see how the Sky Station system works.