Google is planning to bring high-speed wireless networks to Sub-Saharan Africa with the aid of high-altitude balloons that are capable of transmitting signals across hundreds of square kilometres. They are gearing up to join with telecom firms and equipment professionals to build and establish networks that will improve connection speeds in certain cities.

The web search company is using a variety of techniques and technologies to transform the vision into a reality, including; broadcasting signals from masts and satellites as well as remote controlled blimps

“There’s not going to be one technology that will be the silver bullet,” (a source told Wall Street Journal though a Google spokesman declined to comment).

With smartphone penetration already higher than 50% in many western markets, mobile manufacturers are racing to connect customers in emerging markets. Google is highly focused on these new markets, and is developing low-cost Nexus smartphones and tablets. (

Google is currently conducting trials of wireless broadband networks in Cape Town with three masts at Stellenbosch University to transmit to ten local schools.