Facebook buys drones to compete with Google?

Facebook buys drones to compete with Google?

Facebook buys drones to compete with Google?

Written by Staff Writer

04 Mar, 2014 | 2:42 pm

Mark Zuckerberg had in the recent past spoken about Facebook becoming the dial-tone of the Internet, and had also announced the buyout of the popular cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion. But if reports are to be believed, then all this is a part of Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s long term plan to bring free Internet to the world, as the social-networking giant is said to be in acquisition talks with Titan Aerospace.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook, being one of the main supporters of the Internet.org initiative, will make use of drones that are produced by Titan Aerospace to reach out to parts of the world that have little or no access to the Internet. The report states the Solara 50 and Solara 60 drone models developed by Titan Aerospace will be used by Facebook. The deal is valued around $60 million according to the report, which also states that the company will build 11,000 of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for Facebook.

The UAVs manufactured by Titan Aerospace can stay in flight for five years without the need for landing or a refuel. This would be imperative for projects undertaken by Internet.org in the forthcoming future. The project will be competing with Google’s own Project Loon, which is working on a similar idea save for the fact that it would involve balloons and not aircraft. Facebook in the event the deal materialises and the project takes off, will be offering a lot to the developing world. The report suggests that it might even revamp the newly acquired WhatsApp so that people can send messages in these parts of the world, if not anything else.

It is a long term plan for sure. And all of this fits in with Facebook’s plan for the future. They have also recently acquired Onavo- a company which works on data compression. In all probability it might be used to develop technologies so that even with slow speeds the Internet will be accessible to everyone.

-NDTV


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