O3b signs agreement with Arianespace
Date: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 15:26
O3b Networks Limited, the developer of a new global, high-speed, satellite-based Internet network for telecommunications operators and ISPs, has signed a contract with Arianespace for the launch of O3b Network’s satellite constellation. This new global Internet backbone provides service access to more than 150 countries
The first 8 O3b satellites will be launched into orbit during 2012 by two Soyuz launch vehicles operating from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Each satellite will weigh about 700 kg at launch, has a design life of 10 years, and provides greater than 10 Gbps of capacity. Mark Rigolle, O3b Chief Executive Officer, said: “this agreement with Arianespace is another important boost to our plans to commence service next year. Our advanced satellite network will bring high-speed access to those who have so far been poorly served, or completely cut off, from the Internet.”
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace said: “Arianespace is especially proud to be supporting a new satellite operator and to be contributing to such an innovative project. I would like to thank O3b for selecting us. This contract is further recognition of the legendary reliability of the Soyuz, and the competiveness of our launch Services & Solutions”
O3b stands for the “Other 3 billion”, a reference to nearly half of the world’s population that is not adequately served with broadband Internet access. Through partnerships with telecommunications providers and internet service providers (ISPs), O3b will combine the speed of a fiber optic network with the global reach of a satellite system to serve billions.
Based on O3b’s current spectrum allocation, the company plans to initially launch up to 20 satellites. O3b satellites will be placed in orbit nearly 8,000 kilometers from the earth, four times closer to the planet than regular geostationary satellites, giving customers extremely low latency and providing access to approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population with fiber quality internet connectivity.