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Facebook's Free Basics faced stern opposition from people in India, where instead of choosing the free goodies being offered by Facebook, people chose to go with net neutrality instead. But, Facebook, it seems, isn't ready to take no for answer. According to Facebook, its preliminary idea behind Free Basics was free basic internet for all. But, after it those plans went down the drain, Facebook has come up with new two brand new initiatives to spread Internet connectivity in rural areas of developing countries like India.

The two initiatives, the Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum (ARIES) system and Terragraph were launched during Facebook's recently held two-day annual F8 conference in San Francisco, US.

Aimed at boosting efficiency, speed and quality of internet connectivity in remote areas in developing countries, ARIES is a base station with 96 antennas that is capable of supporting up to 24 devices or streams simultaneously over the same radio spectrum. This helps the ARIES cover more users across large, rural areas through the means of multiple transmitters and receivers.

[caption id="attachment_105156" align="aligncenter" width="699"]Facebook ARIES - First version of our prototype antenna array with 96 transmit antennas providing 10x spectral and energy efficiency gains. Facebook ARIES - First version of our prototype antenna array with 96 transmit antennas providing 10x spectral and energy efficiency gains.[/caption]

Further, the social networking giant boosts that ARIES will be able to showcase 10 times more spectral and energy efficiency gain over a typical 4G. According to Facebook, the company will extend a helping hand to telecom companies and make the process of improving mobile infrastructure cheaper by open sourcing ARIES' wireless hardware.

On the other hand, the 60GHz wireless Terragraph is missioned at bringing high-speed internet to dense urban areas around the world. The social networking giant is currently testing the Terragraph system at its Palo Alto headquarters and after that it will give it another run in San Jose city.

[caption id="attachment_105157" align="aligncenter" width="699"]Terragraph four sector distribution node (left) and Terragraph prototype node (right). Terragraph four sector distribution node (left) and Terragraph prototype node (right).[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_105158" align="aligncenter" width="699"]Urban deployment of Terragraph network. Urban deployment of Terragraph network.[/caption]

While some of Facebook's initiatives launched in the past like the optical fibre is capable enough to provide hundreds of megabits up to several gigabits of capacity, the only problem is, that they are a little heavy on the pocket for many countries. But, Terragraph is a big reliever in that department. It can efficiently deliver gigabit speeds by placing small boxes called nodes around the urban area about 200-250 metres apart on objects such as light poles.

In February this year, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Indian telecom watchdog, had issued a ruling against Facebook’s Free Basics by backing net neutrality. According to TRAI, no service provider should be allowed to charge its customers discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.

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