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Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-sky dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google is planning to spend over $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions around the world. 'The projected price ranges from about $1 billion to more than $3 billion, the people familiar with the project said, depending on the network's final design and a later phase that could double the number of satellites. Based on past satellite ventures, costs could rise. Google's project is the latest effort by a Silicon Valley company to extend Internet coverage from the sky to help its business on the ground. Google and Facebook Inc. are counting on new Internet users in underserved regions to boost revenue, and ultimately, earnings. "Google and Facebook are trying to figure out ways of reaching populations that thus far have been unreachable," said Susan Irwin, president of Irwin Communications Inc., a satellite-communications research firm. "Wired connectivity only goes so far and wireless cellular networks reach small areas. Satellites can gain much broader access."'"
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Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

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  • by rjstanford (69735) on Monday June 02, 2014 @10:33AM (#47146615) Homepage Journal

    They've brought a surprising amount of electrical power - first wired, now often solar - to remote parts of the globe simply because refrigeration helps them sell enough more product to make the investment worthwhile. This can be quite a good thing if the infrastructure remains open enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2014 @10:54AM (#47146761)

    Depends on the orbit, if it is a very low orbit, say 180km altitude, the latency will be 4*180000m/c=2.4ms. Note that this assumed that both the user and the ground segment station are covered by the same satellite. if the sat needs to relay to other satellites the latency will obviously increase, but thats not different than latency through fiber optic cables, you just need slightly longer distances since the satellite is at a higher altitude than the ground below it, but only little compared to the radius of the earth.

  • by Albanach (527650) on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:06AM (#47146857) Homepage

    I think you might be surprised at some of the case studies surrounding mobile/cell phone use in central Africa.

    here's a study from Tufts [tufts.edu] showing farmers in Ghana establishing the market price for crops, and labourers searching for job opportunities.

    There's lots of more recent coverage too if you do some Google searches.

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