O3b set to launch four satellites from French Guiana

by Clayton Vallabhan | December 18th, 2014

O3b will launch its latest four satellites from the Space Center in French Guiana. The newly launched satellites will be the latest addition to a network designed to connect the “other 3 billion” (hence the name O3b) people on earth who have historically lacked proper access to the internet, connecting, enabling and transforming parts of the world that are currently unconnected or underserved.

Once launched, the satellites will go through a period of in-orbit testing before being fully integrated into the O3b network. In the meantime, the company continues to bring customers up across the world. The O3b business model focuses on three key deliverables: high capacity, fiber-like latency, and bandwidth that is significantly lower in cost. O3b’s satellites utilise multiple spot beams, which significantly increase each satellite’s capacity and decrease the cost per Megabit of bandwidth. O3b’s vast coverage area includes emerging and insufficiently connected markets in Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. O3b’s satellites orbit at 8,062km above the earth, an altitude known as Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

From this low altitude latency is dramatically reduced, bringing it on par with a long haul fiber transmission. Operators can now consider satellite technology for applications that are latency sensitive such as cloud apps, streaming HD video or multiplayer gaming.

O3b CEO Steve Collar said: “This launch represents another important milestone for O3b. We believe in a world where affordable, high speed connectivity is always within reach for everyone. The theme of the launch is “Transforming Communities”, in line with our goal of bringing the “other 3 billion” unconnected people in the world into the digital age.”

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