Softbank launching earthquake-proof floating cellphone base stations

Seismologists predict that a major earthquake to rival last year's 9.0 magnitude event will strike Tokyo between now and 2016. During the last quake local cell phone service abruptly disappeared. Now Softbank has a solution in hopes of avoiding a repeat of that technology breakdown.

According to a report in the Nikkei, Softbank intends to deploy floating mobile phone base stations, anchored to the ground by ropes, by the end of this year. The floating communications relays would serve to augment phone communications when land-based towers are damaged. Although aerostat cellular towers sound like something from a steampunk novel, the technology is very real.

Companies like Lockheed and the Netherlands' Vigilance already provide these kinds of floating communications solutions to the military, so the technology has already been proven in the field as a viable solution.

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