High-Altitude Platforms to deliver WiFi

Laurent sent me this intriguing news: High-altitude platforms for wireless communications by T. C. Tozer and D. Grace:

The demand for high-capacity wireless services is bringing increasing challenges, especially for delivery of the ‘last mile’. Terrestrially, the need for line-of-sight propagation paths represents a constraint unless very large numbers of base-station masts are deployed, while satellite systems have capacity limitations. An emerging solution is offered by high-altitude platforms (HAPs) operating in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 22 km to provide communication facilities that can exploit the best features of both terrestrial and satellite schemes.