A wireless communications basestation that utilizes a light weight high directivity electronically-steerable antenna mounted on an aircraft to providing relay broadband communication service among mobile units in a geographic area is provided. The aircraft carries aloft the antenna; a radio and a switching device for routing. A gateway may also be provided to enable communications with a wide area network. A communication system for a geographic area utilizing the airborne wireless communications basestation is also presented. The system includes a number of user equipment units located in the geographic area in communication with the airborne wireless communications basestation. The user equipment units may utilize omni-directional antennas for low data rate communications, and/or a high directivity antenna.
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