The Brazilian government and SpaceX, owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, have signed an agreement to provide internet in remote areas of Brazil using satellite technology at low altitudes, according to the Ministry of Communications.
The volume says that the program should begin implementation in 2022. The partnership for low-orbit satellites is not dependent on bidding, and can be closed through an administrative process via Anatel (the national communications agency). SpaceX has requested a license from the Autonomous Administration and is awaiting release. The amounts involved in the partnership have not been reported.
The technology will be incorporated into the Wi-Fi Brazil Program, a federal initiative that provides free wireless internet in public institutions, such as schools and health units, and in yards, targeting poor areas where there is insufficient access offer. The proposal to partner with SpaceX is to expand the connectivity of schools in rural areas and in the Amazon region. Satellites and increased internet access in the area can help monitor deforestation in the forest.
“Our goal is to bring the Internet to rural and remote places, as well as help control fires and illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest,” said Minister Fabio Faria, who met with Musk in Austin, Texas, on Monday afternoon. Monday (15). The partnership was confirmed on Tuesday (16).
“By improving communication, we can help ensure the preservation of the Amazon and prevent illegal deforestation,” Musk commented in a video posted on Faria’s social networks. The two spoke for a few weeks before sealing the deal.
SpaceX, which has also invested in space tourism, has about 4,500 low-altitude satellites. The category includes equipment in orbit up to 2,000 km in height. For comparison, commercial airliners fly at an altitude of 10 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.
Competing in the market with other giants such as Amazon, Musk is expected to invest $30 billion (162.5 billion R$) in the project called Starlink, which has already put more than 1,500 satellites into orbit to provide internet to nearly 70,000 users.
in july, SpaceX Signed a partnership with Chile, which will enable the Internet for two cities. To make the connection, the company has delivered satellite signal receiving kits, which will allow free access services for a year. After that, municipalities must bear the cost. The company has pledged to offer a potential download speed of 50MB/s to 150MB/s – 50MB/s is enough to download a five-minute song every second.
Last week, in Glasgow, Faria also met with the British company OneWeb, which operates in the same sector, has 350 satellites in low orbit and plans to double the operation next year. Like SpaceX, the company has already asked Anatel for a license to operate in the country.
On November 5, the Brazilian government held a 5G auction, which moved 47.2 billion R$ and generated commitments for block-winning operators over the next 20 years.
Of course, Vivo and Tim, who have won national bonds, will have to implement connectivity projects in public schools. Tim, Algar Telecom and Fly Link got regional payments with the same requirements.
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