Facebook’s plans to transmit free internet connections to sub-Saharan Africa from satellites in space looks set to become a reality after the social media company reached a deal with French internet operator, Eutelsat.
It is part of Facebook’s internet.org initiative which already provides free internet access to remote areas of the world. However at the moment, this is provided through fixed and mobile telecom networks – meaning coverage is often patchy.
Through their partnership with Eutelsat, Facebook will be able to transmit internet access from satellites directly to smart phones.
At first, Facebook planned to build their own satellite but reportedly abandoned the project earlier this year. They have now opted to join forces with Eutelsat and make use of the company’s already active AMOS-6 satellite.
The move means that from mid-2016, users in 14 African countries will be able to use the internet to access services like the weather, news and the social network itself.