How important is its advertising business to Google? Well, Google is reportedly going to spend over $1 billion on launching satellites to help bring broadband access to people in remote areas. That means providing broadband access to its ads to those people is more valuable to Google than it is to existing telcos, cablecos and satellite TV services.
According to the Wall Street Journal sources, Google will launch 180 small, high-capacity satellites that will orbit the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. Yes, 180 satellites — and at an estimated cost of $3 million per satellite, a sum that could total tens of billions by the time they’re all up and running.
Google has said two-thirds of the world’s 2.7 billion population does not currently have broadband access. Connecting them would significantly expand the market for its search-based advertising network in the same way that advertisers once funded the rise of the national TV networks. It’ll also extend the reach of content owners’ ability to deliver entertainment and their own ads.
The satellites are an extension of Google’s Project Loon, which is in a trial stage of offering broadband access with 30 balloons in New Zealand’s South Island.
If Google can pull off even some of its announced and unannounced ventures…
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