When the announcement of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion was done at the end of February, everyone questioned the deal's expensive price of $19 billion except that it was considered a bid to buy a competitor. Next on the buy list is the drone company, Titan Aerospace, for $60 Million.
The purchases of the other companies and bringing them into the fold of Facebook are piecing together Mark Zuckerberg’s plan which is his vision to connect the world through his Internet.org mission. There are 4 billion more people to connect from the developing countries and bring them into mainstream Internet.
The TechCrunch blog first reported this possible deal over the week-end. Today an undisclosed source did confirm the deal is in process to purchase the New Mexico based company because the solar-powered drones.
Also, the extra advantages of the deal can according to a report in ValueWalk allow earth imaging, disaster recovery, communication and weather monitoring. There is value in drones for emergency micro mapping. The Typhoon Haiyan used cell GPS locations for a short time before cell towers were gone in the storm. Drones could be of immeasurable lifesaving assistance in remote locations during disasters.This access to all is at the heart of the Internet.org world connectivity vision.
The drones are reported to have the capability to fly for five years due to the solar power design. A fleet of drones would expand Zuckerberg’s plan to reach the next billion users in Africa and Asia by allowing a ‘zero net’ rate fee to mobile phone purchases provided by soaring drones.
It is reported in Quartz today that the New Mexico Titan Aerospace company had planned to fly its first drone in 2015. 'The drone will have flying range between 60,000 and 70,000 feet (18,300 and 21,300 meters), well above commercial jet traffic. A single aircraft could provide connectivity over an 18-mile (29 kilometer) radius.'
Last Oct. Facebook purchased the Tel Aviv based company Onavo for $120 million. The company provides apps analytics on use of data and optimal approaches for data compression. Minimizing smartphone data consumptions fits with Facebook and the other acquisitions to be part of the Internet.org plan.
These acquisitions make sense in the puzzle and provide the answers to Mark Zuckerberg's vision and passion to connect the world or as he said in Barcelona 99% connectivity.
The competing project by Google is 'Project Loon’ involving helium balloons to achieve its access to difficult locations.
To view other information on Facebook and the deals see below in Author’s suggestions and view the video atop this article from 'The Street' today and news about Facebook and Titan Aerospace.