There’s a very simple reason some of us spend so much time thinking about and working on ways to use wireless platforms to expand Internet access: it is the way the next four billion Internet users are going to get access.
“The next four billion (Internet users) will come online through some form of a wireless connection,” said Chris Weasler, Facebook global head, spectrum policy and connectivity planning.
“We have a number of different projects underway to address connectivity,” Weasler said. New access technologies and architectures have to be more affordable, Weasler said.
One example is Aquila, the solar-powered unmanned aircraft that Facebook expects and hopes will provide a new way to do backhaul. It “could be used by mobile operators, Wi-Fi operators” or others, Weasler said.
Facebook also has Identified bands of spectrum where Aquila would not interfere with existing spectrum users, also would work for UAV platforms that are expected to provide quite a lot of bandwidth.
To that end, Facebook “got an agenda item” from the International Telecommunications Union’s latest World Radiocommunications Conference, potentially allowing exploration of ways to use the 20 GHz to 40 GHz bands for backhaul.
Mobile will not be the sole wireless access technology. But it will be the most often used by consumers.