Facebook and Eutelsat have announced a partnership for a project to access high-speed Internet through satellites in sub-Saharan Africa. “According to a multi-year agreement concluded with Spacecom, the two companies will use the entire high speed payload of the future AMOS-6 satellite and will build a system dedicated to the exploitation of this payload, including the leased satellite capacity, ground stations and terminals, ”the two companies said in a statement.
As the satellite is configured to be multibeam, it offers wide coverage, explains Eutelsat. “With our strong track record in operating multibeam satellite systems, we will ensure that we offer reliable Internet solutions at competitive prices, so that more users can surf the web and thus benefit from the economy of knowledge, ”says Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat.
Commissioned in the second half of 2016
While details of the deal have not been released, the project is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2016. Facebook is expected to work with local partners to offer services. For its part, Eutelsat announces the creation of a new company based in London to manage its broadband activities in Africa.
In 2013, Mark Zuckerberg presented his Internet.org project which aims to connect several regions of the world to the Internet via satellites. Other American web giants also share the same ambition. With his “Loon projectGoogle intends to use high altitude balloons to provide Internet access to regions.