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New superfast satellite to bring cheaper internet to Africa and Brazil in 2016

More Africans and Brazilians than ever are on the verge of getting cheaper internet, thanks to a new satellite that’s set for a 2016 launch.

Yahsat, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, confirmed via an official statement late last week that its Al Yah 3 satellite has passed its Preliminary Design Review (PDR), and that it’s on track for launch in the final quarter of 2016.

When it’s live and in orbit, Al Yah 3 is expected to cover 17 countries and 600 million people with access to affordable internet services, representing 95% of Brazil’s population and 60% of Africa.

The PDR is apparently an industry-standard process where the satellite’s design and architecture are given a good going-over before being assembled, with the ultimate aim of making sure it will operate effectively in orbit.

Al Yah 3 will be based on Orbital Science Corporation’s GEOStar-3 platform, and features Ka High Throughput technology that will deliver gigabits of internet data to customers in Africa and Brazil. It will be assembled in Orbital’s Dulles, Virginia manufacturing facility in the US.

Yahsat’s Marcus Vilaca, the company’s acting chief technical officer said [Yahsat is] “actively engaging with potential partners in Africa and Brazil, enabling us to deploy much-needed connectivity to underserved markets”.

The company already offers satellite-based internet access in South Africa through YahClick, thanks to the successful launches of its Y1A and Y1B satellites that went up in April 2011 and April 2012 respectively.

[Source and image – Official Yahsat statement]

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