This is a very interesting prospect and chimes in well with Facebook’s aim to offer an internet of its own in the future. Zuckerberg famously remarked in a recent statement that WhatsApp’s acquisition was meant to help Facebook bring internet access to every person on planet. While services like WhatsApp, with their wild popularity, will help Facebook reach connected users, acquisitions like Titan Aerospace will ensure that people are connected with the internet.
Titan Aerospace specializes in making solar drones which can fly for up to five years and have very high altitudes. The company’s satellites need no external power once they reach a definite altitude, charging themselves up with the solar power. These are ideally suited for launching a blanket-net of internet satellites over a huge area.
The model which Facebook seems keenly interested in is ‘Solara 60‘ by Titan Aerospace. Apparently, the drone vendor will be tasked with creating 11,000 of these to boot. Given this, it is nearly certain that Facebook plans to use these to offer internet in remote areas which internet connectivity is still not available.
The acquisition will reportedly rake in $60 million and will be a critical step forth for Zuckerberg’s Internet.org initiative. However, the ambitious project has to overcome a number of regulatory hurdles which will come when these drone-satellite mashups will be launched into the air. The long-term plan is to offer free internet connectivity to everyone on this planet. This may result in rather low-speed internet but it will still put a huge populace on the digital map.