There is still a huge market to gain. Half of the worlds population, 3,7 billion people, has no access to internet from their home or smartphone. Half of those have no internet access at all. And how about other planets? The internet giants Facebook and Google are scrambling to deploy innovative ways for offering connectivity to the unconnected. Planes, balloons, Blips, satellites… anything goes. The one that is able to offer internet first, will own the consumer. On earth, in the stratosphere, and even on Mars.
Facebook just conducted the first test flight of the Aquila connectivity plane. The aircraft is able to circle an area of up to 60 miles in diameter, connecting those below to the internet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems. They designed and lab-tested a laser that can deliver data at a speed 10 times faster than the previous state-of-the-art lasers. It’s capabilities are staggering – being able to target a 10 cent us coin from more than 10 miles away.
All of the power behind the Aquila is central to Facebook’s goal of bringing all that the Internet has to offer – wirelessly – to the fingertips of the 1.6 billion people it says are not connected with the rest of the world.
While the idea of bringing “free” Internet to developing countries seems noble, Facebook-owned internet.org comes with many limitations that bring into question a potential monopoly on the control of Internet connectivity.
Alphabet (Google) has also invested in several projects for delivering internet access to underserved areas. ProjectLoon aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons to make the internet available to remote parts of the world. The tech giant is even planning to launch 180 low orbit satellites.
And how about deep space? Here’s where entrepreneur Elon Musk kicks in. Musk’s SpaceX, alongside Google – are partnering up to bring Internet connectivity to the most remote places on Earth (and even Mars) using satellites. Musk seeks to create a network of hundreds of satellites that could not only connect people on Earth to the web, but also people on Mars – if and when people reach the planet. Forward thinking indeed.
One thing is sure, the redundancy and availability requirements of data networking will become even more challenging and compelling. At Custom Connect, we are looking forward to connecting your business not only anywhere on the world – even interplanetary.
Would you like to prepare your network for eventually connecting to Mars? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org