Imagine a day when you have access to the Internet anywhere in the world, without paying for the service. It may sound like a pipe dream, but this scenario could become a reality by 2026, says one Internet connection service provider from China.
According to Shine, LinkSure Network, a Shanghai-based Internet company, held a press conference earlier this week in Beijing, where they unveiled their latest ambitious initiative. Titled 'LinkSure Hive Constellation System,' the program comprises 272 communication satellites that will grant all citizens across the globe free access to Wi-Fi in eight years.
"The cost of each satellite ranges from two to 30 million yuan," says Wang Xiaoshu, rotating president of LinkSure Network. "The total expenditure of our project could surpass three billion yuan." According to Wang, they have obtained a launch qualification for their first satellite, which is expected to go into the sky from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center next year.
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Currently, the firm has provided a free internet service to over 800 million users in China via its smartphone application 'Wi-Fi Master Key.' The app helps customers search for nearby open Internet and links them to the service. So far, they have covered a large number of schools, factories and villages from less developed regions in China, advises Wang.
That being said, there are still many parts of the country where the benefit of the Internet is unavailable. According to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center, the number of non-netizens in China amounted to 588 million at the end of June 2018. When it comes to a worldwide figure, a report from the United Nations reveales that 3.9 billion people go without Internet.
"What we are doing is to bridge the gap caused by the inequality in the distribution of Internet resources," Wang told Lieyunwang. "Launching satellites seems to be the best solution for this. We hope to give everyone around the world free access to the Internet, and we will stick to our cause."
Exciting and promising as it sounds, many netizens have expressed their worries and doubts. "Using satellites to cover Wi-Fi service? Give me a break. It just sounds so unreal." writes one netizen on The Paper. "Even if's real, I'm still skeptical whether it's entirely free to use." says another on Weibo.
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