World Mobile Launches Africa’s First Commercial Telecoms Aerostat, Connecting Rural Mozambique

World Mobile Group, the pioneering global mobile network leveraging blockchain and the sharing economy, has successfully launched its first aerostat in Mozambique, aiming to bridge the connectivity gap in the country.

With Mozambique’s low internet user rate of 23% and a significant rural population lacking infrastructure, World Mobile addresses the issue by introducing an accessible, affordable, and sustainable mobile network. The aerostats, deployed 300 meters into the air, provide last-mile connectivity with a custom radio payload, allowing direct connection for customers within a 130-kilometer radius. This technology overcomes challenges of terrain, infrastructure, and cost.

World Mobile’s blockchain foundation ensures transparency, efficiency, and security, offering a unique model for individuals and businesses to operate nodes and bring communities online while earning revenue. The launch near Massingir village initiates data gathering for future deployments across Mozambique, Africa, and other under-connected regions globally.


End of Year Twitter Space Update

On Monday 28th November World Mobile held a Twitter Space with Micky Watkins (Mr Telecom), Zac (Head of Token) and Antonio (CTO) to discuss the current status of Earth Nodes and Air Nodes.

Starting off the Space, Micky announced the World Mobile Merch Holidays Collection featuring tshirts, jumpers and Christmas tree ornaments.

Next up were details on the ENNFT for Earth Node Operators. Due to a small issue with Nami Wallet it has been delayed to the beginning of December. The team have also found some small optimizations they want to make so they can be absolutely sure about the security of the smart contract.

Earth Node Rewards Part 2 was also discussed and unfortunately it’s still being worked on and there’s no date yet. The team want to make sure they get it 100% right.

World Mobile have also promised 225 Air Nodes by the end of the year and revenues from these will soon be displayed on WMTscan.

As for Earth Node Testnet, the development team work in 2 week sprints and if all goes well internal testing on the Testnet Candidate will likely begin in the first week of December. Antonio did mention they will choose a select group of Earth Nodes to participate in the early Testnet however we’ve put forward a proposal for Earth Node owners to register their interest in running on Testnet as there are several of us with time & skill who are eager to get testing.

Also mentioned within the Space was the fully autonomous aerostat built by World Mobile, smaller than the one in Zanzibar but with motorised control for stabilization. It’s also much easier to move around and cheaper than the larger aerostat which requires a mooring station. World Mobile will be releasing content soon showcasing its build.

World Mobile are currently working on an advanced 5G fibreglass antenna for rural America. It will have a frequency of 200Mhz and offer speeds of 60Mbps concurrently or 100/20. The aerostat being deployed in Zanzibar uses 4 directional antennas which allows for wide signal distribution but doesn’t have a super long range. It’s also LTE, not 5G, however it will be upgraded later to support 5G connection. World Mobile are just awaiting final sign-off from the Zanzibar Department of Defence before they can launch the Aerostat.

That’s all of the main info from the Twitter Space – Stay tuned for upcoming details around the Earth Node NFT and Testnet!


How World Mobile’s aerostats work

How World Mobile’s aerostats work

Thanks to the dynamic design of the World Mobile network, we can deploy connectivity in places legacy mobile operators can’t reach while also delivering decentralised digital identity and creating a sharing economy that allows anyone to benefit and earn from owning a part of the global World Mobile network.

We can reach these remote and previously unconnected areas by adapting the approach and technologies we use to the unique challenges of each region.

One of the technologies that enable our dynamic network is our aerostats. The aerostats World Mobile uses are unpowered balloons that provide connectivity in a wide area and are tethered to the ground with a high-speed fibre connection.

This enables widespread coverage at a fraction of the cost of traditional cell towers, while also allowing for innovative connectivity options and the propagation of our backhaul to AirNode operators wherever we have deployed.

Here is a breakdown of how we use aerostats to connect the unconnected around the world.

What is on our aerostats?

We’ve partnered with aerostat companies like Atlas and Altaeros to provide balloon-based wireless connectivity, beginning with our rollout in Africa.

These aerostat partners deliver lighter-than-air balloons that are loaded with the technology we need to connect people to the World Mobile network and enable AirNode owners to offer and earn from last-mile connectivity in our coverage area.

They act as a telecommunications tower in the sky, optimising coverage while providing backhaul, handset, and IoT connectivity. Aerostats can deliver coverage across a much larger area than traditional cell towers due to their altitude, with our balloons able to provide connectivity in a radius of up to 75km.

The payload – the hardware that provides connectivity and other features – of each aerostat can vary depending on the region we are deploying in, allowing us to tweak each deployment to connect people in the most efficient way possible.

A World Mobile aerostat may feature a payload that includes the following hardware:

  • An LTE module that delivers 4G cellular connectivity over licensed spectrum.
  • An LTE-U module that enables backhaul over unlicensed spectrum from Wi-Fi AirNodes.
  • Sigfox and LoRaWAN modules to connect low-power and battery-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
  • An AIS marine tracking module to deliver more efficient tracking of marine vessels in a large radius.
  • A fibre tether that bridges the aerostat’s payload and the base station on the ground, linking the balloon to the core of the World Mobile network.

A giant AirNode, backhaul provider, and IoT hub

World Mobile aerostats act as a hub for delivering connectivity over a wide area. They can act as a giant AirNode, providing last-mile connectivity through LTE and LTE-U technology. This means customers can directly connect to the balloon’s payload using their smartphone in the same way they would to a traditional cell tower.

Aerostats can also act as a backhaul provider for AirNode operators in their coverage area. If you own an AirNode in the coverage area of a World Mobile aerostat, you can provide connectivity to users and transmit their data directly to the World Mobile network over a cellular connection to the aerostat, no fibre or fixed-line connection required.

This is enabled by integrated access and backhaul (IAB), which allows the aerostat to both offer standard cellular connectivity and connect AirNodes to the global World Mobile network, allowing them to earn from connecting others even in areas without fixed broadband coverage.

Read more about World Mobile’s dynamic approach to backhaul.

By including IoT modules that use technologies like Sigfox and LoRaWAN on our aerostats, they can function as IoT hubs in the sky. This means World Mobile aerostats can efficiently and cheaply connect a mesh of IoT devices in a large radius, unlocking exciting new opportunities for projects like smart agriculture, smart cities, and environment monitoring.

Similarly, the inclusion of an AIS marine tracking module allows vessels in the range of the aerostat to transmit transponder information via our balloon instead of a satellite, making the communication of vessel locations much cheaper.

Join the unstoppable mobile network

Using balloons to connect the unconnected is just one of the ways World Mobile is disrupting the trillion-dollar telco industry. Our integration of decentralised identity and the sharing economy provides unprecedented opportunity and agency to users on the World Mobile network.

We’ve also turned the traditional mobile network model on its head by allowing users to own parts of our network and earn for providing connectivity to others.

Together, we can connect the billions of unconnected people around the world while allowing everyone to benefit from the shared ownership and growth of our infrastructure.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the World Mobile ecosystem and our mission, check out the links below:

You can also check out CNN’s article – Internet blimps are coming to Zanzibar