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With an aim to provide wireless internet access to unconnected regions, Google is bringing internet connectivity to the world via satellites, if reports are to be believed.
Sources said that the project will initially have 180 small, high capacity satellites that will orbit the Earth; these will rotate the Earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. The number of satellites may expand gradually.
The search giant has roped in Greg Wyler, founder of satellite communications startup O3b Networks, as part of the project.
Wyler is working alongside former O3b chief technology officer on this project. The company has also been recruiting engineers from Space Systems/Loral, a satellite company.
The estimated cost of the project is $1-3 billion, but it may rise depending on the final network design and number of satellites which may be added later.
Google aims to reach out to the two-thirds of the world that is still not connected to the internet. Online advertising accounts for the majority of Google’s profits, and a billion new users means more business. Google is, of course, not the only company looking for new technologies to improve internet access throughout the world. Facebook in March acquired Ascenta, a UK-based drone maker, for $20 million. The drones will be used to deliver internet to the undeveloped world.
Last year, Google announced Project Loon, wherein it released high-altitude balloons to create an aerial wireless network to beam internet to rural areas of New Zealand.