Facebook To Use Single Satellite To Beam Broadband Internet To Sub-Saharan Africa In 2016

Facebook has partnered with Eutelsat Communications to provide broadband Internet access to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the area of the continent that lies south of the Sahara desert. As part of the initiative, the two companies inked a multi-year agreement with Spacecom to beam broadband service from the forthcoming AMOS-6 satellite.

Spacecom will also build a dedicated system comprising of satellite capacity, gateways, and terminals. In doing so, Facebook and Eutelsat will have the resources necessary to bring data connectivity to "the many users deprived of the economic and social benefits of the Internet" in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The service is scheduled for deployment in the second half of 2016. It will use the Ka-band payload on the AMOS-6 geostationary satellite, which is configured with high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East, and Southern Africa. The capacity will be shared between Facebook and Eutelsat, both of which will deliver Internet service to users in Africa who live beyond the range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks.

This latest initiative is part of Facebook's ongoing effort to connect the world's population to the Internet regardless of geographic location and economic status. To that end, Facebook announced Internet.org two years ago.

"Facebook’s mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa," said Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org. "We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently."

Meanwhile, Eutelsat will serve premium consumer and professional segments through this partnership.