How afraid should operators be of the Facebook battle plan?

Written by on April 18, 2016 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

Facebook planShould Telecom operators be wary of the Facebook 10-year Roadmap?

Does the Facebook 10-year roadmap include becoming a global connectivity provider? In 10 years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks augmented and virtual reality headsets will look more like eyeglasses; giant Facebook drones will beam Internet to the most remote parts of the world; we’ll use artificial intelligence to facilitate interaction between people and businesses; and interact with friends in VR as if they were sitting right next to us. Ok, we have heard this before…

The Facebook 10-Year Roadmap goal was laid out at the F8 developer conference – To connect the world through text, video, and broadband.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook 10-Year Roadmap even took a political tone and intertwined his beliefs about global connectivity with current events and human rights. He called attention to the crisis of Syrian refugees, and, without mentioning him by name, alluded to Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s plan of building a wall to keep out immigrants.

To that end, Zuckerberg and company are building technologies to connect people through Facebook, no matter their geographic location or access to digital tools. Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, billions of people around the world still don’t have access to the Internet.

The first big news was about the vision for an amplified Messenger service with AI Chatbots supporting interaction between people and businesses. Also, Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset is now available to order. Onstage at F8, Zuckerberg said that eventually these systems won’t look like giant pieces of headgear, but rather sleek glasses that resemble Ray Bans or other fashionable eyewear we wear on a daily basis.

The company’s push into livestreaming video is well underway, and over the next few years, it will be an increasingly popular way of connecting with friends and family, Zuckerberg said.

Further down the road, Facebook’s plans for artificial intelligence go deeper than facial recognition. “Our goal is to build systems that are better than people at perception,” he said. For instance, Facebook recently rolled out new computer vision technology that lets people with vision impairment “see” photos on Facebook through automatically generated alt-text.

 The vision that was presented

“WE WANT TO GIVE EVERYONE THE POWER TO SHARE ANYTHING WITH ANYONE,” ZUCKERBERG SAID.

And what about the new connectivity initiatives?

There are no drones or balloons in sight here. There are two powerful new systems Facebook built to improve connectivity on the ground in urban and rural areas. They plan to unveil two projects that promise to improve Internet connectivity for users in cities and urban areas.

The two, called Aries and Terragraph, will be detailed at its F8 conference in San Francisco.  Together, they represent an extension of Facebook’s connectivity efforts that so far have been most closely identified with Aquila, a high-flying drone designed by the company to beam down an Internet signal to remote areas.

Aries appears to have multiple antennas that could be used to more accurately serve signals to particular areas or create small cells to improve the use of wireless bandwidth. Terragraph appears to have four antennas, each casting a wide beam around a central mast. They appear to work together and provide connectivity

Zuckerberg estimated around a billion people are currently not on the Internet because they live in areas with poor or no connectivity. A further billion are in areas with coverage but cannot afford to get online, he said. For those people, Facebook is hoping lower costs will come from a proje2016.04.13-facebook-2ct it has launched to develop open-source networking equipment for telecommunications carriers. It hopes the gear will be cheaper than traditional cellular equipment and thus lead to cost reductions for operators and lower charges for users.

The previous initiative of “Facebook Free Basics” to entice an additional 2 billion users who have connectivity, to a set of core Internet services that users can access at no cost was propelled to fame when the Indian government effectively banned it in favor of net neutrality, but the service does have 25 million users in 37 other countries.  In some countries, users get free access to the Facebook app as part of a deal the company has with local carriers. Is this the new Facebook Service Provider set up?

More here and here. [mis-asia] [dailydot].

This article was first published at Pricing Data Plans.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .

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