It was only a few hours ago that Mark Zuckerberg announced a game-changer to his social initiative, Internet.org. The project launched only a few months ago in Pakistan in an exclusive partnership with Telenor Pakistan, later on, this was amended to facilitate all the major Telecommunication operators in the country. Now, a new development has come to Internet.org that is looking to bring internet connections to a global level.
Now, a new development has come to Internet.org, that is looking to bring internet connections to territories that need them most. Much like Google’s Project Loon, Mark Zuckerberg is looking to take the internet to the skies and bring it as a gift of information from the skies, where the facility isn’t available. This is where Aquila comes in.
Aquila is a solar-powered unmanned plane that will be capable of beaming internet connectivity from the skies. Having the wingspan of a Boeing 737 with the total weight less than a car, will make sure that it stays flying in the airs for months without any help.
A breakthrough in laser technologies has enabled Aquila to be an effective courier in beaming internet services to countries that need it. Tests have shown positive results of data transmission speeds reaching highs of 10 gigabits per second, this is a record new number that flies past the previous record ten-fold. Add in the accuracy of the laser being able to connect with the point size of a dime from a range of more than 10 miles, and you have a perfect device to deliver internet to the most remote of regions.
Aquila will help reach out to the 10% of the worlds population currently without internet or infrastructures to build it. While the plane sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie in the 1990’s, you better believe that this tech is as real as can be.
If you are curious about Aquila, you can check out the video below:
I’m excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort. Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down internet connectivity from the sky. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time. We’ve also made a breakthrough in laser communications technology. We’ve successfully tested a new laser that can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. That’s ten times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies. Using aircraft to connect communities using lasers might seem like science fiction. But science fiction is often just science before its time. Over the coming months, we will test these systems in the real world and continue refining them so we can turn their promise into reality. Here’s a video showing the building of Aquila.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, July 30, 2015
This is a commendable effort on the end of Mark Zuckerberg, even though the initial reception of Internet.org was ill received at first when he represented Pakistan in the picture of a man and a donkey. Later on, Mark was called out multiple times for the move of making a social initiative a Telenor exclusive offer which was counter-productive to the goal of internet.org and it’s mission.
Internet.org is definitely a blessing in disguise for the Pakistani audience that has yet to reach its utmost potential, the recent boom of smartphone sales, introduction of 3G / 4G services in 2014, and the increased growth of the IT industry will help make sure that the growth of Pakistan in the field of IT is one filled with prosperity.
What are your thoughts on Aquila? Let us know in the comments section.
Feat image courtesy of Ibtimes.