Cash-rich Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) wants to put geo-synchronous communication satellites in space at a low orbit to provide Internet access all over the Earth, eliminating the need to lay wire lines at a cost of $1 billion.
The Wall Street Journal said in a report that the mega plan would include 180 high-capacity satellites stationed in low orbit geo-synchronous position covering the entire earth.
“Google and Facebook are trying to figure out ways of reaching populations that thus far have been unreachable. Wired connectivity only goes so far and wireless cellular networks reach small areas. Satellites can gain much broader access,” Susan Irwin, president of Irwin Communications Inc., a satellite-communications research firm, told WSJ.
Greg Wyler of startup company O3b Networks is tipped to lead the next generation Google project. But Google is tight-lipped on the report and did not confirm or refute the report so far.
The plans would mean Google could cement itself as an internet service provider, and the mobile network would complement its Google Fibre broadband, reports added.
Since last year, Google has been testing an experimental network of the tiny base stations in its Mountain View vicinity. Small cells inserted with a lot of capacity in a small area, were clustered together using them as boosters of the bandwidth that is available to all users freely or at a throw-away price in the area.
Earlier, Google’s Project Loon, a balloon-powered wireless network on Google+, and the X project two years ago showed Google plans to meet the challenges in building an untethered network floating freely in the stratospheric winds around the earth’s stratosphere.
Otherwise, Loon resembles the terrestrial cellular networks run by Verizon and AT&T much more than they do any satellite constellation. Perhaps a failure of the project would have forced Google to launch the new satellite-constellation project in the space aiming at connecting the entire world and Google being a rich enterprising firm, may provide it mostly free to reach billions of clients at one go daily.