Google plans to launch 180 satellites could provide significant competition in the developing world and rural areas. Google also still plans to deploy stratospheric balloons and long duration drones to provide internet.
Google has about 70-80% of all ecommerce ad revenue in the world. So the more internet there is and the more internet ad revenue there is then the more money Google makes.
Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction. Project Loon uses software algorithms to determine where its balloons need to go, then moves each one into a layer of wind blowing in the right direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.
The effect of competition could be powerful. Google’s entry into municipal fiber markets has tended to drive down prices and improve service offerings from existing ISPs, according to some analyses.
if Google could beam Internet connectivity to countries [or states or counties in the United States] that have only a single ISP—often one controlled by a government—and very high prices for Internet connectivity, “that could be a game changer for a huge swath of the globe,” says Rob Faris, research director at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.
O3b’s name refers to the “other three billion”—a reference to people worldwide who lack Internet access. The company has four satellites in orbit and plans to launch another four next month. Its existing business is providing Internet connectivity to mobile carriers’ base stations.
It isn’t clear what model Google and O3b might pursue. But O3b’s satellites already offer a superior and cheaper way to deliver high-speed Internet than conventional satellite services. Satellite Internet is traditionally provided by geostationary satellites that stay over a given point on Earth. These satellites orbit at 35,000 kilometers—often adding a 600 millisecond delay to the radio signals going back and forth. Such a delay is generally considered excessive for business use.
O3b satellites orbit at a relatively low altitude of about 8,000 kilometers, and the company says this means a more-tolerable 150-millisecond delay coverage to latitudes up to 45 degrees north or south of the equator, a swath of territory inhabited by 70 percent of the world’s population. They can work even though they’re in motion relative to the Earth’s surface because they use technology called “beam-forming” to direct their signals.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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