It was supposed to last a rocket SpaceX, the company’s space projects Elon Musk, should have taken off to put into orbit the first satellite created by Facebook. It was the AMOS-6 , and its mission had been to pave the way for the initiative Internet.org could begin to take some of the remotest parts of the world Internet.
But unfortunately, an anomaly in the launch pad ended up causing the explosion of the rocket that would carry, and with him has lost all its cargo . This has been a huge blow to the aspirations of the social network, but you still have other projects that keep trying.
And it is that Facebook and Google are locked in a frantic race to bring Internet to disconnected areas left in the world. Both companies have several projects to get, although the satellite of Facebook was one of the most ambitious. How is therefore this race after the accident AMOS-6?
AMOS-6 and career Facebook against Google
Exceeded 1,000 million users, large online platforms have spent several years looking for ways to bring their services to all those millions of people who still have no Internet access, although it must first provide an economical and efficient way to power connect to the network.
And it is Google and Facebook. The search company is trying to do through initiatives such as its popular Project Loon, a network of balloons that will fly through the stratosphere with the idea of offering LTE connectivity in the areas through which they pass. These would have up to eight months of autonomy, and Google is still putting about before starting to deploy.
In 2014 he also talked about Project Titan, much like Loon but in which Google changed drones solar balloons . And last February, talked about Project Skybender, another network of drones with which the search company sought to provide in remote areas that arrived one forty times faster than the LTE connectivity.
Although not the only, the main project of Facebook is even more ambitious. Instead of merely creating balloons or drones wanted to go a step further and several kilometers above using its own satellite network, with connectivity to offer your project Internet.org directly from space.
The initiative was announced in 2013, and the AMOS-6 was the first of these satellites whose construction had been carried out by the company Eutelsat. With Zuckerberg he hoped to bring connectivity to 14 countries in the most populated areas of sub -Saharan Africa, and incidentally attract attention and investment of further partners for your project.
What now happens after the explosion?
The draft Internet.org is not being easy for Facebook. And he had to dodgecomplaints from operators as well as criticism and vetoes of countries and organizations how could undermine the Net Neutrality, and certainly failing with its first major step towards its goal not it will help.
In a message posted on Facebook Zuckerberg we have already shown ‘deeply disappointed’ by the destruction of its satellite. However, according to Eutelsat loss could have a negative impact of 5 million euros in profits of fiscal year 2016-17, 15 million in 2017-18, and between 25 and 30 million euro for 2018-19.
Although not specific, it is not clear how much of this impact corresponds to Facebook and how the manufacturer. Still, for the social network it is not just a matter of money invested, but also a blow that could delay some of the agreements that were about to close with future investors.
In any case, Zuckerberg himself has said that he cares about is not money that can be lost with this operation, but delayed its plans to connect millions of people. He says altruistic giving a speech, although it is clear that the more engrose its user base more benefits will continue with them. According to the latest data, in July they exceeded 1,700 million, or imagine the leap that could lead connected with 14 new countries.
And now that? Although Facebook has not yet been mentioned in this regard, it is assumed that they will again try to create another satellite to connect remote areas of the world from space. In any case, the Zuckerberg also have a plan B for the delay after the accident did not stop entirely their aspirations.
This is the Aquila project a fleet of drones whose mission is, like that of Google, go flying over the planet to bring the Internet to where we wires do not reach. The aim is that in the near future can get to have about 10,000 of these drones hovering over the planet capable of sending laser signals which transmit tens of GB per second to more than 15 kilometers away.
Drones have a similar wingspan of a Boeing 737 and an autonomy that will allow them to fly for 90 days at speeds below 128 kph providing connectivity to areas that are under them. Speed is an important point, because the more stable will be more slow connectivity they provide.
But this other project also has left some years to start trading with ambition. So far, after two years working they have already conducted several tests with the first of the drones. But then to have the 10,000 who expect to have in the air there is still a stretch. We will have to see what is happening during the next few months, because the race to bring Internet to remote areas is still very interesting.