Facebook: Social networking giant Facebook is all set to launch a satellite by teaming up with France’s Eutelsat Communications. With this, Facebook is aimed at providing Internet access to major parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
This satellite dubbed as AMOS-6 is a part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. It has been revealed by the companies that the satellite will be providing Internet access mainly via mobile phones.
The satellite which is presently under construction will be launched next year. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in a Facebook post that the satellite will be covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa.
“To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies,” Zuckerberg said.
Internet.org is aimed at offering affordable access to selected Internet services to less developed countries by increasing efficiency, and facilitating the development of new business models around the provision of Internet access. This platform offers free access to pared-down web services.
The United Nations Broadband Commission earlier said that there is not much growth in the number of people accessing Internet and that more than half the world’s population is still offline. According to the data released by Facebook last month, the social network has around 20 million users in major African markets Nigeria and Kenya. Also, most of these users access their Facebook profiles via mobile phones.
Facebook’s first African office was opened in June in Johannesburg. At that time, it was reported by the tech news website The Information that Facebook had dropped plans to build a satellite to continents like Africa for providing Internet access.