Social network giant, Facebook is reportedly researching on using millimeter-wave technology to power its free internet access, according to The Verge. Patent records obtained by The Verge show that the company is working on millimeter-wave as part of its nonprofit Internet.org initiative.
The milimeter-wave technology operates in the 10-300GHz band, promising multiple gigabit-per-second data rates. The mmWave is one of the technology that is being evaluated for the next generation 5G mobile communications. The technology operates on a broad radio spectrum, and is expected to support the future requirements for mobile communications, following recent improvements in semiconductors and antenna technologies.
Facebook told The Verge that "This work is part of the Connectivity Lab which supports the mission of Internet.org to connect the four billion people who don't have Internet access." Facebook's Connectivity Lab is also working on satellites and drone-mounted laser technologies as other alternatives for Internet connectivity.
Facebook's free Internet service, FreeBasics is available across a number of countries in Asia and Africa. However, just last week, India's telecoms regulatory body, TRAI ruled against the service, banning FreeBasics which had been offered in partnership with Reliance Communications, India's fourth largest Mobile Operator.