Eutelsat, Facebook Expand Express Wi-Fi Coverage in Africa
Eutelsat and its partner Facebook Connectivity are expanding the use of the Express Wi-Fi platform to provide broadband services to rural and remote end-users across new regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The expansion will include 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.
In 2016, the partners tapped Hughes‘ Jupiter system to deliver the service over Africa. The combined platform is used in more than 30 countries, including in multiple Asian, South American and African markets, helping millions of people connect over Wi-Fi.
“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,” said Fargani Tambeayuk, Head of Connectivity Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Facebook. “Connectivity is essential to ensuring access to jobs, education, healthcare and more.”