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SES S.A. to provide broadband for Facebook in Africa

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ses-sa-satellite-The Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES S.A., has announced a satellite broadband deal with Facebook to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to sub-Saharan Africa.

This agreement which will support Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi programme, is part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative to connect the world.

Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, will deliver high speed broadband connectivity using three SES satellites – ASTRA 2G, ASTRA 3B and ASTRA 4A. In addition, SES is providing Facebook with customised SES Enterprise+ broadband services.

SES reportedly designed a highly tailored service utilising its satellite, data centre and implementation services with integrated features such as security, protocol enhancement, and hosting. The solution is said to include Gilat Satellite Networks’ X-Architecture platform that will enable Facebook’s local African partners to deliver internet services to underconnected and unconnected communities using Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi access product.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with SES and Facebook on this worthy initiative to bridge the digital divide,” said Ron Levin, Director Strategic Accounts at Gilat. “The turn-key solution provided to Facebook is based on expanding SES base with Gilat’s most advanced X-Architecture for SkyEdge II-c platform to deliver a scalable and optimised satellite-enabled broadband solution in Africa.”

Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES was quoted as saying that SES has the strengths, solutions and satellites that can satisfy Facebook’s demand to enable and provide broadband connectivity.

“An agreement such as this with Facebook, where we designed a whole new customisable, flexible and scalable solution, is another step SES has taken to satisfy the fast expanding broadband connectivity market in Africa,” he said.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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