Movistar Argentina has announced that it has successfully tested a new network solution involving the transmission of 4G LTE signals from a hot air balloon. The tests, which were staged at the Balcarce Earth Station in Buenos Aires, saw the balloons tethered to the ground by a cable, which allows engineers to both increase the height of the balloon and also retrieve it. According to Movistar, the balloon can remain in the air – at a height of 40 metres – for five days. The cellco notes that the biggest advantage of using a balloon-based solution is its scope for rapid rollout, and the fact that it can be deployed by a team of just three people.
Movistar Argentina’s LTE network currently comprises 4,000 base transceiver stations (BTS), covering the 23 provincial capitals, the city of Buenos Aires and more than 650 additional locations. The cellco presides over a 4G user base of around five million.