Facebook unveils solar-powered drone with internet access

Facebook is entering the drone market with its very own addition that aims to provide internet access in remote parts of the world.

Dubbed Aquila, the large drone plane is solar-powered and will be capable of flying for three months at a time without needing to land.

The drone, which has a wingspan of a Boeing 737, will use a laser to stream data to a base station on the ground, while Facebook will partner with local ISPs to offer the service to customers.

Jay Parikh, VP of global engineering and infrastructure, said: “Since we launched Internet.org, it’s been our mission to find ways to provide internet connectivity to the more than four billion people who are not yet online.

“Aquila has the wingspan of a 737 but weighs hundreds of times less, thanks to its unique design and carbon-fiber frame.”

The social network platform also revealed its earnings report this week for the quarter ended June 30th 2015, reporting $4.04 billion (£2.594 million) in revenue and $0.50 (32p) earnings per share.

The firm also revealed it now has 1.49 billion monthly users, up 3.47 per cent quarter-over-quarter.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, added: “This was another strong quarter for our community.

“Engagement across our family of apps keeps growing, and we remain focused on improving the quality of our services."

Other highlights from the report revealed mobile daily active users (DUAs) were 844 million on average for June 2015, an increase of 29 per cent year-on-year, while monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.49 billion, an increase of 13 per cent year-on-year.

Image source: Facebook newsroom

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