Can SkyFi Really Give the Entire World Free Internet?

They want to "offer free internet access to the whole planet."


Wifi distribution across this planet is patchwork of crazy: You can tweet from Mt. Fuji but lord help you if you want to send an email in Cuba. Thursday, Israeli company SkyFi announced it will be the one to finally soak the world in wifi from space.

In a press release announcing $3 million in funding from Jerusalem Venture Partners and the Liberty Israel Venture Fund, the company said it would get around the problems preventing reliable wifi from traditional satellites by launching nanosatellites whose 55-centimeter diameter antenna could be folded up to make launching cheaper, then expanding once in orbit.

“The high flexibility of our nano satellites and the ability to provide multiple services to different customers enables us to offer free internet access to the whole planet in the same manner as GPS services are free. We think this has the potential to bridge great divides and give everyone worldwide a part in the great global connected community,” Raz Itzhaki Tamir, Co-Founder and CEO of SkyFi, said in the press announcement.

Comparing the nanosatellites to seeds that grow in space, Tamir said the system would be as much as 100 times cheaper to launch than current systems.

This concept video illustrates the process.

The company says a complete satellite network — or constellation — will be able to send as much as one gigabyte of data per second anywhere in the world. That includes wifi-starved portions of India and Africa, or just your seat in coach. Mark Zuckerberg better get moving.

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