High flier: Deutsche Telekom tests mobile antenna in the stratosphere

BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom DTEGn.DE said on Monday it had successfully tested an aerial base station in the earth’s stratosphere, an innovation it hopes will bring mobile coverage to remote areas that are hard for ground-based networks to reach.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Deutsche Telekom AG is silhouetted against the sun and clouds atop of the headquarters of German telecommunications giant in Bonn, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The German telecoms group and its partner, British startup Stratospheric Platforms Ltd, said a pilotless aircraft flying at 14,000 metres (45,000 feet) had succeeded in connecting with its terrestrial 4G network from an on-board antenna.

The airborne base station, which can cover an area 100 km (62 miles) across, handled voice and video calls, data downloads and web browsing from a smartphone user on the ground during trial flights earlier this month.

“We have shown that we can deliver

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