Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire Titan Aerospace, a company that makes solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land. This move could be part of Facebook’s aim to bring affordable internet access to the 5 billion people in the world who still lack connectivity. According to TechCrunch’s sources, Facebook will use this solar-powered drones to deliver internet access to non-connected areas, starting with Africa. Initially the company might build 11,000 UAVs to deliver data services.
These plans fit nicely with the Facebook’s Internet.org efforts. Google is also engaged in a similar effort, although it’s using balloons, with Project Loon offering 50 testers internet access via solar-powered helium balloons. Its experiments are currently centered on the southern hemisphere, namely New Zealand. Titan Aerospace has confirmed that talks are going on with Facebook. The report also says that after the acquisition, that would cost Facebook $60 million, all of Titan Aerospace’s production would be for the Internet.org project only.