According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is set to spend in excess of $1 billion on launching its very first Internet-beaming satellite fleet. Google has decided to start the program off with around 180 smaller satellites that will orbit the earth at lower altitudes than the more traditional satellites currently in the skies above. This means that Google will be able to bring the Internet and all of the Google functionality to remote locations where at the moment, using other means and methods of connecting people to the web are not practical or viable.
The global company already has a balloon based project currently live called Project Loon, which is in a testing phase and back in April 2014, Google also purchased the drone maker Titan Aerospace. Not to miss an opportunity, Facebook has also developed a similar internet drone based expansion plan and has set things in progress.
A Google spokeswoman said, “Internet connectivity significantly improves people’s lives. Yet two-thirds of the world have no access at all,” before adding that the huge company is massively focused on bringing more and more people online. As well as improving lives, it is thought that the internet expansion will deliver a significant boost to the revenues of Google, which at the moment are based predominantly on the advertising it sells. However, the same will be said for Facebook’s revenues as more and more people using the internet and signing up to the social media giant’s services will increase its quarterly earnings.
The satellite venture which is to be headed up by Greg Wuler who recently sold his company O3b Networks to Google.
O3b recently developed small 1,500 pound satellites that can be used to beam internet around, however Google want smaller still, potentially satellites that weigh around 250 pounds each. It has been estimated that launching 180 of these smaller satellites would cost somewhere in the region of $600 million.
However, due to the fact that the finalised number of satellites needed and the final design of the network have not been confirmed, the total cost could rise to $1 billion, or possible even top out at $3 billion.
But, sceptics of the plan have suggested that this project could far pass the $3 billion mark and possible end up costing more along the lines of $20 billion referring to very similar but yet unsuccessful satellite based internet related ‘pipe dream’ plans from the past years.
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