Facebook linked to acquisition of US drone maker

Reports suggest Facebook is about to snap up Titan Aerospace for $60 million.

internet

Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly on the brink of buying solar-powered drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace for $60 million.

Facebook is interested in buying the company as part of its wider aim to bring internet connectivity to some of the world's poorest places, according to a TechCrunch report,

Titan Aerospace specialises in the manufacture of unmanned air craft that are powered by the sun, can fly at high altitude and remain in the air for five years without needing to land.

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Sources told the publication Facebook is interested in harnessing these capabilities to deliver internet access to remote areas, starting with Africa.

They also put the value of the acquisition at around $60 million.

Last month, Facebook splashed out $19 billion on messaging app WhatsApp.

The Titan Aerospace website states the drones can be used for atmospheric monitoring, measuring sea temperatures, and can also act as a lookout for fires, because it has a 100 mile radius viewpoint.

At last week's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at length about the work his company is doing, via the Internet.org tech coalition, to help emerging markets get the same benefits from the internet as more developed regions of the world.

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Speaking at the event, Zuckerberg said: "If you increase the number of people in emerging markets with internet access, you can create 100 million jobs[and bring about a] seven per cent drop in child mortality."

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