Israeli “Facebook Satellite” to Beam Internet to Sub-Saharan Africa
FACEBOOK announced Monday that it will use the AMOS-6 communications satellite, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), to provide Internet access to Sub-Saharan African nations as part of its internet.org project.
Facebook partnered with French satellite provider Eutelsat, which is cooperating with Israeli company Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC) owned by Shaul Elovitch for the operation of AMOS-6, expected to be launched in August 2016. Spacecom is expected to earn $95 million from the deal.
The US social media giant plans to provide Internet access to 14 African nations using the satellite. “I’m excited to announce our first project to deliver Internet from space,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) on his Facebook page.
“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.
“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. This is just one of the innovations we’re working on to achieve our mission with Internet.org. Connectivity changes lives and communities. We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world — even if that means looking beyond our planet.”
Spacecom CEO David Pollack said, “The fact that the leading companies in their markets, Eutelsat and Facebook, chose the AMOS-6 satellite for their new strategic initiative is further proof of the high quality of production of the AMOS-6 and its adaptation for a new role is a vote of confidence in Spacecom and its satellites.
“With this, Spacecom and the AMOS satellites join the frontline of communications satellite providers which provide suitable solutions for the needs of the world’s development zones. We are very proud to be given the opportunity to collaborate in such an important initiative.”
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Source: Globes English