Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran Provinces to Get Emergency Communication Balloons

 Iran Provinces to Get Emergency Communication Balloons Iran Provinces to Get Emergency Communication Balloons

The Telecoms Ministry is planning to equip the provinces with communication balloons to help provide coverage during natural disasters.

According to the ministry’s website, after technical assessments by the ministry’s crisis management department, all provinces will be equipped with the balloons.

The move comes in the wake of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Kermanshah Province in western Iran last month after which communications across the area were disrupted.

Communication balloons help establish connectivity and are especially useful when ground-based infrastructure is unusable. The technology enables people to contact family and friends and can be used for facilitating rescue and relief efforts.

In November, the Iranian Space Research Center and the ministry deployed a communication balloon near the Iraqi border to facilitate Internet access for Iranian pilgrims visiting the neighboring country to attend the annual Arbaeen mourning ceremonies in the shrine city of Karbala.

The balloon, providing a 100-Mb Internet bandwidth was installed at an altitude of 500 meters. It was connected to a radio transmitter in the border city of Mehran.

Deploying emergency communication balloons are commonplace in the world. In October Google brought emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico through its internet-by-balloon project after the Irma and Maria hurricanes flattened vast areas and left more than 90% of the island without cellphone coverage.

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