Facebook plans a satellite launch in 2016

Newsroom24x7 Desk

satelliteNew Delhi : Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced FB’s ambitious plans of launching a satellite for facilitating internet access in remote areas of some part of the globe which is densely populated and active on social networking sites.

Facebook has made plans to launch a satellite that will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa and this would be a joint venture in partnership with French-based provider Eutelsat. Targeting a launch time of year 2016, Facebook aims at continuing the task of connecting the entire world — ‘even if that means looking beyond our planet,’ said Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org project, which has come under fierce criticism in some countries.

Internet.org is experimenting with different ways of providing internet to hard-to-reach places. Recently, the company told of how it was planning to use a custom-built drone to beam down connectivity. However, in some areas, particularly India, businesses reacted angrily to the plans saying it gave Facebook, and its partners, an unfair advantage in developing internet markets.

The satellite plan aims at using existing satellite technology to provide affordable internet access across the globe. Termed as ‘Optimized for community’, this latest initiative is one such handle through which Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky. Zuckerberg wrote – To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies.

The venture partner Eutelsat commented on this ambitious project and said, users on the ground would be able to use ‘off the shelf’ products to access the service when it launches in the second half of 2016. The capacity is optimized for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment. Eutelsat and Facebook will each deploy Internet services designed to relieve pent-up demand for connectivity from the many users in Africa beyond range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks.

Presently, several companies already provide internet-by-satellite, but it is a costly option beyond the reach of most people in the developing world. FB is aiming at making cost-effective access facilities and surely hopes this satellite launch would add to easen the cost burden and expand connectivity reach simultaneously.

Germany is a natural partner in India’s economic transformation- PM Modi

Newsroom24x7 Desk

modi-merkel joint press briefingNew Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Indian soil and discussed on matters concerning growth, development and strengthening of bilateral ties during their three hour log interactions. In a joint statement briefing, PM Modi extended his hearfelt congratulations to Chancellor Merkel in particular, and Germany in general, on the 25th anniversary of German reunification. At this important milestone, Modi reminisced that Germany could look back with pride on what the country has accomplished at home and abroad. Modi appreciated Chancellor Merkel’s leadership and stated that it has been a source of confidence and reassurance at a difficult moment for Europe and the world.

On Merkel’s visit to India, Modi thanked Merkel and said that the strength of German delegation reflected the importance that Germany attached to relations with India and the seriousness with which the partner country has approached the Inter Governmental Consultations as this commitment would hold the key to progress in bilateral relations.

Modi added, the unique mechanism of Inter-Governmental Consultation has brought about all round growth in our relations and have deepened our engagement. India sees Germany as a natural partner in achieving India’s vision of economic transformation. German strengths and India’s priorities are aligned, and, so is our mutual goodwill.

PM Modi elaborated on India’s focus on economic ties and its beliefs in a world of seamless challenges and opportunities, where India and Germany could also be strong partners in advancing a more human, peaceful, just and sustainable future for the world. ‘We have a rich history of engagement. We share values, comfort in our relations and a sense of responsibility to the world’ he said.

Modi reiterated that German response to India’s development agenda was very encouraging and India is looking forward with confidence to increased investment, trade and technology partnerships in manufacturing, infrastructure and skill development. German engineering and Indian IT skills can create the next generation industry that will be more efficient, economical and environment friendly. 1600 German companies in India, and growing in number, will be strong partners in creating a global work force in India.

Expanding the horizon, PM stated that German cooperation and assistance in areas like smart cities, Clean Ganga and waste management have taken a concrete shape. So, has our cooperation in education, from engineering to humanities.

Modi appreciated Germany’s leadership in clean energy and commitment to combating climate change. This is an area where both countries have convergence of views, and rapidly growing cooperation. ‘We have agreed on India-Germany Climate and Renewable Alliance with a long term vision and a comprehensive agenda of combating climate change. I place great value on Germany’s assistance of over one billion Euros for India’s Green Energy Corridor and a new assistance package of over a billion Euros for solar projects in India. We also intend to deepen research cooperation in clean and renewable energy, and energy efficiency. To contain temperature rise we must also change our temperament’ he added.

In PM’s words – We look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 in Paris that strengthens the commitment and the ability of the world, especially of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition to a more sustainable growth path. Our partnership will also grow in areas like defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism. These are important security dimensions of our expanding relationship. I welcome Germany’s strong support for India’s membership of the international export control regimes. As we discussed in the G4 Summit in New York, Chancellor and I are committed to pursue reforms of the United Nations, especially the Security Council.

On a global scenario, PM Modi stated that both countries have a common perspective on the turbulence in West Asia; Europe’s challenges; and, shaping a peaceful and stable Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. He especially thanked Merkel  for Germany’s invaluable support for peace, security and development in Afghanistan.

PM Modi extended a very special word of gratitude to Chancellor Merkel and the people of Germany for the return of the 10th century statue of Durga in her Mahishasurmardini avatar from Jammu and Kashmir, as Durga is a symbol of the victory of good over evil, and it also suggested that in this age of transitions and turmoil, India-Germany partnership will be a force of good for the world.

Modi concluded his address thus – it is a saying common to both our cultures that friendship is a plant that needs to be watered. I am confident that after this extraordinary session, the tree of our friendship will blossom.