Facebook Inc poaches satellite expert from Google Inc


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has hired a satellite executive from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) for a similar role earlier this month. Michael Tseytlin worked with the search giant to deliver internet through satellite, and will perform the similar functions in Facebook, as well. The social networking company is taking forward its efforts to catch-up with the competition.

Facebook Inc poaches satellite expert from Google Inc

Double blow to Google

Facebook wants Tseytlin to work in the satellite technology for its connectivity lab, says a report from the Wall Street Journal citing sources familiar with the matter. Till now, Tseytlin worked with Google’s satellite efforts headed by Greg Wyler, a high-profile satellite entrepreneur who exited Google recently. Tseytlin, also, worked with LightSquared for seven years, heading the satellite development and various other infrastructures.  However, the firm is now bankrupt.

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Google is working to position high-altitude balloons, solar powered drones and satellites, and to enhance its efforts the company made two acquisitions, Titan Aerospace and Skybox Imaging.

Both Facebook and Google are making efforts to overshadow the other in offering Internet access and tapping the billions of people in the developing world, who cannot access the internet and hence are unconnected. Satellite technology is a prominent technology to achieve this.

Tseytlin to take forward Facebook CEO’s plans

The exact purpose for which Tseytlin is hired by Facebook is not known yet, but according to his LinkedIn page, he is in touch with the business development executives at the top satellite companies Space Systems Loral and Intelsat.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post earlier this year, “Across the largest areas of territory with the lowest population densities, satellites can beam internet access to the ground.”  The CEO added that the satellite technology is expensive today, but are gradually becoming cheaper and smaller to launch.

In its connectivity lab, the social networking company is working on developing satellites, drones and other ways of giving access to the unconnected.  Facebook is targeting to install a low-Earth Orbit and geosynchronous-Earth-orbit satellites to beam internet signals to those living in the remote areas, plans Zuckerberg. With the help of the Low-earth orbit satellites strong internet signals can be offered to the narrow areas, which imply that a large number of satellites are needed to cover the Earth.

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