Facebook will launch an Israeli satellite to bring the internet to Africa
Spacecom will launch the satellite, called the Amos-6, in the second half of 2016 to replace an older model, the Amos-2.
Facebook on Monday announced a partnership with Israeli satellite company Spacecom and Europe’s Eutelsat to launch a satellite next year to help connect millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa to the Internet.
“To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post. “As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Spacecom will launch the satellite, called the Amos-6, in the second half of 2016 to replace an older model, the Amos-2. The new version will have capabilities “optimized for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.” The company estimated the deal, which will go through 2021 with options for extensions, at $95 million.
“Once we had it planned, designed and almost ready to be launched, we heard about Facebook’s ideas, and other large companies as well, to use Satellites to bring the Internet to remote areas,” Spacecom president and CEO David Pollack told The Jerusalem Post.
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