Eutelsat and its partner Facebook Connectivity are expanding the use of the Express Wi-Fi platform to offer broadband services to rural and remote end-users across new regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The expansion will comprise of coverage over the areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
The service expansion follows a series of pilots that Eutelsat and Facebook ran as tests in the rural and underserved areas of the DRC. Facebook Connectivity developed the Express Wi-Fi platform to provide affordable and reliable broadband internet access to previously unserved customers. The social media company partnered with Eutelsat to combine Express Wi-Fi with the operator’s KONNECT platform.
The General Manager of Konnect Africa, Philippe Baudrier, said, ‘’We are delighted to partner with Facebook in this ambitious scheme, aimed at getting more people online in the most underserved areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative is the perfect example of the power of satellite connectivity to bridge the digital divide, with unmatched economic and social benefits. We are proud once again to leverage the unparalleled coverage of Eutelsat Konnect to satisfy this growing demand.’’
The Head of Connectivity Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Facebook, Fargani Tambeayuk, said, “At Facebook, we’re committed to working with partners to help expand connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, which continues to be the region with the highest coverage gap. Connectivity is essential to ensuring access to jobs, education, healthcare and more.”