The US Department of Defense is seeking to deploy an army of drones as wireless hot spots: the DARPA project of drones as hot spots appear to be similar in scope to that of Google’s Balloons and Facebook’s UAVs but it will be funded by the Department of Defense.
The project has been progressing since 2012 and is now entering its second phase of testing. Once completed, DARPA’s UAVs will fly and distribute Wi-Fi to military personnel or another computer while performing surveillance. The UAVs will be used in locations during military missions, potentially with other drones when in remote or desert areas.
If it is used in the US, it will be providing signal that is much stronger than commercial 4G cellular networks. It is not likely that the military will share the Wi-Fi stream with non-militarized Americans, even though the nation has one of the slowest in the world. Essentially, Americans will still be paying for another military service that they cannot use, but they can only hope that it is being used for good. At least DARPA also provides research grants to many who are advancing science. You can read about them here: DARPA.
The assets needed for long-range, high-bandwidth communications capabilities are often unavailable to lower echelons due to theater-wide mission priorities. DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program aims to help overcome this challenge by developing a reliable, on-demand capability for establishing long-range, high-capacity reachback that is organic to tactical units. The program is building and demonstrating a scalable, mobile millimeter-wave communications backhaul network mounted on small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and providing a 1 Gb/s capacity.