Apple is among technology companies who Boeing is looking to strike a deal with this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite, according to Reuters.
Jim Simpson, vice president of business development and chief strategist for Boeing Network and Space Systems, wouldn’t reveal to Reuters specifics about which technology firms are looking to strike a deal, but said big technology companies are keen to expand Internet access around the world.
In its report, Reuters puts Apple’s name on a list of potential companies to make the purchase, along with Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
Simpson said the reason technology companies want a satellite to provide Internet access to the other 70 percent of the globe who lacks it, thus creating new customers to sell products to.
The cost of building a satellite may be a hard pill for a technology giant to swallow, though striking a deal with Boeing could put the upkeep and initial building troubles on the space-focused company. Boeing also has the infrastructure to keep it afloat in earth orbit.
Simpson told Reuters the challenge of the project is to drive down the cost of satellite communications to be more in line with “terrestrial costs”.
Internet-giant Google has already begun its march for satellites, with a $1 billion in investment along with mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments, into SpaceX. The Elon Musk-run company has previously said it plans to build a system of 4,000 satellites in low Earth orbit for global Internet connectivity.
As Apple looks to expand its Internet offerings with iCloud, iTunes, the App Store, and other Internet-based services, a blanket of Internet in emerging markets could mean big business.
There’s no word on how much a deal with Boeing will cost or when it may be announced.