Sina science and technology news in Beijing on May 4th morning, Facebook may soon follow the example of SpaceX and OneWeb, using satellite to provide Internet access services.
A document submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week showed that a mystical company named PointView Tech would launch a multimillion – dollar test satellite. The satellite is called Athena, and the data transmission speed will be 10 times faster than that of SpaceX’s Starlink Internet satellite.
However, PointView still seems to remain on paper. In fact, this small company seems to be a newly established subsidiary of Facebook last year, which has been kept secret for a long time.
Many technology companies believe that the future of Internet access services is space satellites. At present, half of the world’s population is still unable to use broadband connections, especially those living in rural areas and developing countries. The goal of SpaceX is to launch 12 thousand Starlink satellites to near earth orbit, thus providing broadband services with Gigabit network speeds in most parts of the world. Rival OneWeb has obtained investment from Softbank, Qualcomm and Virgin Group, and plans to use 2500 near earth satellites to provide similar global coverage.
The document shows that the Athena satellite of PointView will be launched to the near earth orbit in early 2019, and the Arianespace Vega rocket will be launched. The size and weight of the “Athena” satellite (150 kilograms) are similar to those of SpaceX and OneWeb satellites, but will use high frequency millimeter wave radio frequency signals to bring faster data transmission speed. The company estimates that the speed of the system will reach 10Gbps.
The document says: “PointView wants to know whether the system using the E-band spectrum can be used to provide fixed and mobile broadband access.”
The US based space company must obtain FCC approval before launch. These companies usually construct satellites and ground stations long before submitting documents. PointView’s application shows: “PointView has started the construction of the satellite facilities in the project and has taken the risk independently. The company has informed FCC in writing that it is planning to build its own risk in July 2016. “
However, according to the records of Delaware, the company was incorporated in April 2017. PointView has not submitted any annual reports, nor has there been any clear directors and shareholders. All the clues, however, point to Facebook.
FCC released Athena satellite orbit (red), satellite communication range (yellow) and transmission data back to earth (green)
PointView in Delaware uses the same corporate agent as other Facebook subsidiaries, including FCL Tech. PointView’s application to FCC is also handled by the same law firm and even the same lawyer. The lawyer helped Facebook submit an application to FCC.
In addition, PointView listed 3 ground stations in the application, one of which is located in Northridge area, Losangeles. It has been reported that Facebook rented 80 thousand square feet (7432 square meters) offices in October last year and is now being renovated. (Zhang Fan)