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Eutelsat & Facebook join forces to extend Wi-Fi coverage in Africa (incl. Zim)

TelOne Eutelsat, Express Wi-Fi Facebook Eutelsat KONNECT

French satellite operator Eutelsat has partnered up with Facebook to expand Wi-Fi coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa. This partnership will run through Facebook’s connectivity initiative Express Wi-Fi which enables partners to build, grow and monetise their Wi-Fi business as well as Eutelsat’s KONNECT. If the latter sounds familiar it is because a little while ago local ISP TelOne and Eutelsat KONNECT signed a multi-year Ka-band satellite broadband deal.

On the Facebook Express Wi-Fi end of this arrangement, there are already a number of regional partners spanning all connectivity platforms from mobile network operators to satellite operators. Notable African companies that are already on board include Cell C South Africa, Yahclick South Africa, Konnect Afrika DRC, and many others.

Which countries are going to benefit?

The countries that are set to benefit from this union are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

“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. We’re proud to partner with Eutelsat to combine the power of the Express Wi-Fi platform and EUTELSAT KONNECT, with the goal of increasing satellite broadband coverage across rural and underserved areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Fargani Tambeayuk, Head of Connectivity Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Facebook

Hopefully this deal pushes Zim ISPs and MNO to sign on with either Eutelsat or Facebook Express Wi-Fi, because this initiative could help bridge the internet divide in the country.

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