Drones are the new black in the tech industry: Google has acquired Titan Aereospace, a startup whose high-altitude, solar-powered drones can provide fast Internet access to users on the ground, with an eye toward putting them into operation next year.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, first reported by the Wall Street Journal reported. Facebook had been in talks to buy Titan in a deal reportedly worth up to $60 million, to further the social giant’s own plans at providing ubiquitous Internet access to people around the world. But instead, last month Facebook announced the acquisition of U.K.-based Ascenta, another company building drones, for about $20 million.
According to Google, Titan will become part of Google’s Project Loon, a plan to deploy high-altitude balloons to provide Internet access to under-served areas. “Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps and bring people back online after disasters,” the Internet giant says on the website for the project.