Drones, the aircrafts that are operated by remote and not pilots are in demand these days. Last year Amazon made a lot of buzz after Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder of Amazon informed that the online retail giant plans to use drone copters for deliveries. Facebook has also shown its interest in drones to bring internet to the deprived world or the third world countries.
TC states that, Facebook has now revealed its plans to bring Internet to the third-world via drones, satellites, lasers, and more. Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s Connectivity Lab which will work on the Internet.org project. It’s powered by talent acquired from solar-powered drone maker Ascenta as well as poached from NASA.
Both Connectivity Lab and Internet.org will be working in tandem to accomplish the mission of Facebook to bring internet to the 5 billion people who currently lack it. Internet.org, a partnership between Facebook and telecom industry giants like Nokia and Qualcomm, hopes to use these air- and space-borne methods to bring Internet to the needy.
Connectivity Lab has released a video which explains the costs and shortcomings of the current system used for Internet distribution. In the video Facebook’s Yael Maguire explains some of its plans for satellites in low density environments, which included a combination of low earth orbital satellite systems and geosynchronous satellite systems.
The Lab is also looking at a new form of plane architecture for suburban locations, which are solar powered and able to fly at roughly 20,000 meters for months at a time. Less populated areas will be served by low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites.
Both will employ “Free-space optical communication”, or FSO, which uses invisible, infrared laser beams to transmit data using light.
Mark Zuckerberg who broadcasted this development on his Facebook page stated that:
We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the internet.
We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here.
We’re looking forward to working with our Internet.org partners and operators worldwide to deploy these technologies and deliver on the dream of connecting the world.
With this latest announcement from Facebook, Connectivity Lab could very well compete with Google’s Project Loon, which uses huge helium balloon vessels to beam Internet to the developing world.
However, there has been no mention of Titan Aerospace, the drone-maker Facebook was said to be in advanced acquisition talks with a few weeks ago.