Yesterday from French Guiana’s space station the first 4 satellites of the O3b Networks project were placed in orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle by Arianespace and are now successfully in orbit over the equator some 8,000 kilometres or so above the earth.
The programme is an ambitious one in “… providing billions of people across Africa, Latin America, The Middle East, Asia and The Pacific access to fast and affordable internet for the first time.”
“The O3b system will combine the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fiber-optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity.”
“Customers witnessing the launch included Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, O3b’s first Maritime customer, Telecom Cook Islands, who will receive the first commercial signals across the network this summer and Maju Nusa, soon to roll out a state of the art 3G backhaul network in Malaysia built on O3b’s low latency capacity.”
The map shows the projected coverage when 8 or possibly more satellites are in place.
We thought this video of their progress was impressive (especially some of the animation).
We’ll leave you with the launch video which also impressed us it’s mainly in English after a French introduction!
O3b Networks’ investors include SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart.