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Israel Launches Satellite over Africa to Give the Continent Internet Access

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • 2019 Aug 07

Israel has launched a communications satellite into space that will give Africa digital service access.

According to CBN News, Israel’s Spacecom launched the satellite, dubbed “Amos-17,” into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Tuesday.

“AMOS-17 places us directly into the exciting growth of Africa's Sub-Saharan vibrant markets," Pollack said in a statement after the launch.

"As a leading multi-regional satellite operator, Spacecom is introducing the most technologically advanced satellite with HTS beams to service Africa where AMOS-17 will deliver a large selection of services to a variety of broadcast, broadband and telecom clients."

Amos-17 is expected to stay over Africa and provide television, internet and phone services for 20 years.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called the satellite and launch “important work," the Jerusalem Post reports. 

"A proud morning, with the news of the successful launch of the Amos 17 satellite. Thank you and congratulations to our friends at @AMOSSpacecom and @SpaceX for their important work on behalf of the State of Israel," he tweeted.

Africa has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. The country is predicted to reach 2.5 billion in 2050, said Eran Shapiro, director of business and technology ventures at Spacecom, at a press conference last month. Half of its current population is under the age of 18.

The continent, however, has a major lack of internet access equipment and has many areas that are either underserved or not connected at all to any communication infrastructure.

“So the opportunity is clear,” said Shapiro. 

To get connectivity via the Amos-17, locals can set up a solar-powered terminal, he added.

The launch was originally planned for last weekend but was postponed to repair a possibly defective piece of equipment on the Falcon 9 rocket, which carried the satellite into space.

Amos-17 weighs 6.5 tons and is about 115 feet long.

Photo courtesy: Nasa/Unsplash, this is a stock photo