Facebook and communications satellite operator Eutelsat Communications took a big step toward connecting sub-Saharan Africa to the Internet.
The social network and Eutelsat Monday announced a multiyear agreement with global satellite communications company Spacecom for the entire broadband payload on the latter’s upcoming AMOS-6 satellite, which is scheduled to be operational in the second half of next year.
The companies said they will build a dedicated system of satellite capacity, gateways and terminals to bring data connectivity to the region, adding that the geostationary satellite’s Ka-band payload is configured with high-gain spot beams that can provide coverage to “large parts” of west, east and southern Africa.
Eutelsat and Facebook said in a release announcing the deal with Spacecom:
Satellite networks are well-suited to economically connecting people in low- to medium-density population areas, and the high-throughput satellite architecture of AMOS-6 is expected to contribute to additional gains in cost efficiency.