World Mobile launches Africa’s first commercial aerostat, bridging Mozambique’s digital divide


Mozambique, like many developing nations, has grappled with stark disparities in digital access. In 2022, only 23 percent of Mozambique’s population had access to the internet, an  unsurprising but still shocking figure given that almost 62 percent of its populace live in rural areas. This digital gap exacerbates inequalities in access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. The World Bank notes that almost three-quarters of the unconnected population cannot afford internet services or the devices needed to access them.

The disparity has persisted due to a confluence of factors, including the concentration of infrastructure and resources in urban areas, limited access to electricity in rural regions, high costs associated with internet services and devices, and the unavailability of traditional telecom networks in remote locations.

But the winds of change are blowing, quite literally, over the rural landscapes of Mozambique. World Mobile Group is helping address the digital divide by leveraging blockchain technology and a sharing economy model to provide accessible, affordable, and sustainable mobile network solutions. Their recent launch of a pioneering aerostat near the rural village of Massingir is a pivotal step in this transformative journey.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first commercial aerostat in Mozambique, a landmark achievement for World Mobile, for Africa and the rest of the world,” says Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile. “Our vision is to connect everyone, everywhere while advocating for economic freedom and dignity. With our aerostats, we can profitably bring internet access to millions of people who have been left behind by the digital divide.”

World Mobile’s aerostats, tethered approximately 300 meters into the air, herald a new era of connectivity for rural communities. These airborne devices provide last-mile connectivity using a custom radio payload, enabling direct connections for internet-connected devices, akin to traditional cell towers. Remarkably, aerostats offer standard cellular coverage over a vast radius of up to 130 kilometers, overcoming the usual challenges of difficult terrain, infrastructure limitations, and prohibitive costs that hinder the expansion of traditional mobile networks.

What sets World Mobile apart from conventional mobile network operators is its foundation on blockchain technology. This innovation imbues the network with unparalleled transparency, efficiency, and security. The immutable nature of blockchain ensures that data and transactions are tamper-proof, enhancing the integrity of the network.

Moreover, World Mobile’s adoption of blockchain technology paves the way for a distributed sharing economy within the trillion-dollar global telecom market. Individuals and business owners worldwide can participate by operating nodes on the network, bringing their communities online, and earning revenue in the process. This model aligns with the ethos of blockchain, democratizing access and benefits.

World Mobile’s mission is not confined to Mozambique alone; it resonates globally. By harnessing blockchain technology, they are pioneering a movement that transcends borders, connecting communities, and uplifting lives. As rural landscapes evolve, powered by the gentle hum of aerostats and the robust security of blockchain, the digital divide narrows, and the promise of economic freedom and dignity becomes ever more attainable.

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