Facebook and Eutelsat to launch satellite in 2016
Facebook is set to launch a satellite in partnership with Eutelsat to provide internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Called AMOS-6, the satellite will cover large parts of East, West and Southern Africa through a partnership with French provider Eutelsat.
"Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky," said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
"To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies."
The satellite is part of Facebook’s Internet.org platform to bring internet access to the unconnected and is expected to be launched in 2016.
Eutelsat said that users on the ground would be able to use off-the-shelf products to access the service. "The capacity is optimised for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment," the company said.
"Eutelsat and Facebook will each deploy internet services designed to relieve pent-up demand for connectivity from the many users in Africa beyond range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks."