Flying cellphone towers: Could drones bring internet coverage to remote areas?

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Telelift is an attempt to create a “flying cellphone tower.” It uses drones the size of a dining table, which are attached to the ground by a long wire and, according to their maker, can stay in the air for at least a month.

Rahul Tiwari, 22, came up with the concept in the summer of 2017 while studying engineering at Purdue University in Indiana. His drones hover at 200 feet while attached to solar panels or a power source on the ground, using around the same amount of power as a microwave.

Tiwari initially intended his drones to be used as anti-poaching “flying watchtowers” in Africa, but when he spoke to industry insiders, he saw a bigger potential.

“If we took the drones that we were building — that were very powerful, they could fly for a…

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