Facebook launching satellite in 2016 to provide free internet in Africa

Mark Zuckerberg has recently announced that Facebook is to launch a satellite that will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa.

Facebook partnership with French satellite company Eutelsat (ETCMY) to launch a satellite called “AMOS-6” that will provide free internet access to people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The satellite will be launched in next year and service will start in the second half of 2016. It will reach 14 countries in West, East and Southern Africa.

Zuckerberg says “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.”

Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post “We’re going to keep working to connect the entire world — even if that means looking beyond our planet.”

This campaign will be part of Facebook’s Internet.org project. Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org said “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.”

Facebook and Eutelsat are leasing the AMOS-6 satellite from Israeli company Spacecom. The two companies will share the satellite and use it for their own individual services.