Facebook launches new systems to offer inexpensive internet access to underdeveloped and developing areas.
Facebook has taken new measures in its struggle to connect the entire globe to its social platform and the internet. On April 13, 2016, the American social network announced two new terrestrial systems developed to enhance the quality, efficiency and speed of internet connectivity across the globe: ARIES for the underdeveloped states and Terragraph to offer internet access to dense urban locations.
The company announced both new systems at its yearly F8 conference in San Francisco, which was attended by around 2500 developers. Terragraph is a 60-gigahertz wireless system intended to bring fast internet to dense urban locations. Facebook is currently testing the tech system at its head office and aims to test-launch it soon in San Jose, California. The organization’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh laid an emphasis upon the system’s cost efficiency at the F8 conference.
The company told that developed countries are hampered by LTE and WiFi infrastructure that cannot keep up with internet users’ consumption of video and photos at higher resolutions.
Facebook pointed out that alternatives, such as optical fiber, which can offer many gigabytes of capacity, are too much costly for many countries. It said Terragraph offers speed in GBs to dense urban locations at a fraction of fiber cost by placing tiny boxes known as nodes, made up of off-the-shelf parts, across the region around 200 to 250 meters apart from light poles.
The Terragraph network design uses an antenna, which can communicate over a huge region. It is able to navigate across obstructions like buildings and manage Internet congestion, which is caused by a high number of visitors.
Facebook told it is among very cheap options to attain street-level coverage of 100% with GB WiFi and can be used to connect entire buildings. For developing states, the company launched ARIES (Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum). The technology can cover a larger number of users across rural, large regions by using many receivers and transmitters.
ARIES is a base station equipped with 96 antennas, which can provide support to 24 streams or devices simultaneously across the same radio spectrum. A study by the social network company across 20 states, over 90% of people reside within 40km away from a significant city.
Usually in least developed countries, web connections are improved by installing a large number of base stations or by giving licenses to bigger radio frequency spectrums, which is difficult and costly.
Facebook said ARIES could be used as a way to expand the social network platform from nearby such areas to city centers in an efficient manner, while still offering fast internet connections.
The Menlo Park based organization told it aims to offer its new technologies to academic communities and wireless research.