Science & Technology

Facebook, Eutelsat to Use Satellites to Spread Net Across Sub-Saharan Africa

Fb and Eutelsat Communications on Monday introduced a partnership to leverage satellite tv for pc know-how to present Web entry to distant elements of sub-Saharan Africa.

The initiative, which features a multiyear settlement with Spacecom, will make the most of the complete broadband payload on the long run AMOS-6 satellite tv for pc because the spine of a devoted system that may embody satellite tv for pc capability, gateways and terminals.

Fb and Eutelsat will present on-line entry to African areas the place there may be little to no connectivity. The businesses highlighted the potential for financial and social advantages that the mission may deliver.

The initiative is the most recent effort of, which Fb launched two years in the past to tackle the bodily, financial and social obstacles that preserve many individuals within the growing world from getting on-line.

“Fb’s mission is to join the world, and we imagine that satellites will play an necessary function in addressing the numerous obstacles that exist in connecting the individuals of Africa,” mentioned Chris Daniels, vice chairman of


Ka-Band Help

“Eutelsat has already validated satellite tv for pc as a quick, efficient and environment friendly manner to get customers on-line in lots of markets,”

CEO Michel de Rosen mentioned.

“For Africa, we imagine satellite tv for pc will play its function as a long-term answer for inexpensive and high quality Web,” he advised TechNewsWorld. “The settlement with Fb is for us an excellent alternative to speed up entry into Africa’s Web market.”

The service, scheduled to start within the second half of 2016, will make the most of the Ka-band, which may present higher capability and direct-to-user Web entry by way of inexpensive, off-the-shelf tools, the businesses mentioned.

The system will work by way of devoted Web gateways in Europe and Israel and can ship a sign to dish antennas in Africa. Eutelsat has offered an analogous service to distant areas over the Ku-band, however that requires a bigger antenna for pickup than the 75-centimeter antennas that Ka-band terminals will use.

“Eutelsat is a satellite tv for pc supplier of Web entry, so the potential infrastructure points are presumably eliminated as obstacles,” mentioned Greg Sterling, vice chairman of technique and perception on the


Points comparable to how the satellite tv for pc performs in dangerous whether or not or when there’s different atmospheric disturbance nonetheless might have to be resolved, he advised TechNewsWorld

Fb’s Linked World

The trouble will present service the place there may be none, and Fb deserves some credit score for that.

“Entry to connectivity will deliver advantages to the customers. Even when it’s only by way of Fb, messages and posts allow individuals to share the information and what’s necessary to them,” mentioned Josh Crandall, principal analyst at


“If customers do not see a profit, they will not use the service. If the funding in the end leads to extra promoting income, it’s going to be a win for the inhabitants — and Fb,” he advised Tech NewsWorld.

Particulars of the service have not been offered, however “it can be crucial that the governments concerned require open entry,” Crandall mentioned.

“What precisely is included in ‘free Web’?” he requested. “Is it the whole lot from Wikipedia and Google to Fb, or solely Fb and Instagram?”

Whereas the mission goals to deliver cost-effective broadband entry to unconnected populations, Fb additionally is likely to be motivated by promoting {dollars} — the extra eyeballs, the extra its advertisements are value.

“There is not a right away ad play, however long term there can be revenues related to the transfer, if profitable,” the Sterling mentioned.

The New Imperialists?

Fb could possibly be seen because the next-generation participant for connecting the world on-line.

“In a variety of growing international locations, Fb is synonymous with the Web a lot in the identical manner that AOL was within the U.S. early on,” mentioned Sterling.

The objective could also be to join as many individuals as attainable because the economies of growing international locations are on the rise, mentioned Roger Entner, principal analyst at


That market is probably not probably the most profitable, “however as their incomes rise over time they usually keep loyal to Fb as the corporate that enabled them to entry the Web first, revenues will come down the road,” he advised TechNewsWorld. “That is actually a protracted play for Fb betting on world residing requirements to rise.”

Nevertheless, Fb’s efforts to forge model loyalty and consumer habits which are aligned with its long-term model and income objectives may end in a mixture of altruistic and self-interested motivations.

“Recall that Google was making an attempt to do one thing comparable with Challenge Loon,” famous Sterling. “One may argue this is likely to be the digital equal of European colonial enlargement into Africa on the nineteenth Century. However make no mistake, Africans additionally will profit if they will get dependable and inexpensive Web entry.”
Facebook, Eutelsat to Use Satellites to Spread Net Across Sub-Saharan Africa

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