Facebook to launch Israeli satellite to expand Internet access in Africa

The social media giant has teamed up with French satellite company Eutelsat to connect people in remote regions of 14 countries in Africa; IAI’s AMOS-6, operated by Spacecom, will earn $95 million.

Mark Zuckerberg-the-face-of-facebook

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is making one more step towards “the Internet available to every person on earth.” The company has partnered with French-based satellite operator Eutelsat in an attempt to deliver free Internet to 14 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, using an AMOS-6 satellite, Eutelsat announced Monday.

“Satellite networks are well suited to economically connecting people in low to medium density population areas, ” said the announcement, “and the high throughput satellite architecture of AMOS-6 is expected to contribute to additional gains in cost efficiency.”

The two companies will use the broadband capacity of the AMOS-6 satellite, which was built by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), and is operated by Israeli company Spacecom. The satellite is expected to be launched into space in 2016 by the Falcon 9 rocket developed by Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.
“Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky. To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies.


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