Facebook has announced that it is teaming up with Eutelsat Communications, a French-based satellite provider. This partnership aims to beam free internet to 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by next year.
Scheduled to be launched in the year 2016, the AMOS-6 Satellite has the goal of expanding Internet access in Africa. It is configured with high gain spot beams to cover “large parts” of west, east and Southern Africa.
CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in Facebook post said, “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.”
The project to launch satellite in 2016 will be conducted under Internet.org initiative that aims at bringing internet access to two-third of the worlds who have been unable to receive it. Internet.org platform provides free access to web services, agricultural information, healthcare and education in addition to Facebook’s own social network and messaging services. To date, Internet.org has launched in countries like India, Indonesia, Colombia and Kenya.
The organization has begun testing solar-powered drones as a way of providing internet connections to developing countries.
The new project to launch satellite in 2016 will focus on sub-Saharan Africa, with AMOS-6 satellite launching into a geostationary orbit to cover large parts of west, east and southern Africa. Facebook would work with local parters to make sure that communities could access internet services via satellite. Though there are already several companies that provide internet by satellite but is a costly option especially for people in developing world.
This new initiative to launch satellite in the second half of 2016 is expected to beam internet access down into the communities from the sky.
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