O3b Satellites Roar into Space, Scaling SES’ MEO Constellation - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

O3b Satellites Roar into Space, Scaling SES’ MEO Constellation

GUIANA SPACE CENTER, KOUROU – Four O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites were successfully launched by Arianespace at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana on April 4 at 14:03 PM local time, SES announced today.

The Soyuz launch marks a significant milestone in SES’s O3b MEO journey, bringing the number of O3b satellites to 20, and making the transition into its next-generation MEO system. The seamless scalability of the constellation means that the additional satellites will enhance coverage across the globe and enable SES Networks to provide greater service availability and reliability to cater to the increasing demand for networked applications in the government, telecom, cloud, maritime and energy markets. The satellites were built by Thales Alenia Space.

As the only operationally- and commercially-proven non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) broadband constellation, the O3b MEO system has been successful since its first launch in 2013, according to today’s news release. It is the only satellite-based system currently delivering fiber-like high-performance data connectivity services, MEF Carrier Ethernet certified services and certified Cloud connectivity services. The unique high-throughput O3b constellation has been key in helping SES achieve its bold vision of changing lives by connecting people. Its positive impact can be felt by customers operating in nearly 50 countries today:

  • Benefitting mobile networks with more than 15 million end users
  • Serving 4 out of the 6 oil & gas super majors in key offshore markets
  • Empowering an exceptional connectivity experience to 4 out of the 5 leading global cruise lines
  • Working with government and humanitarian agencies to restore connectivity for millions affected by natural disasters in Peru and Puerto Rico

“This launch marks a very important part in the O3b journey. We started O3b with this bold vision of changing lives by connecting people. We wanted to create a meaningful impact, and we have. We have connected underserved communities with high-performance internet. We have restored connectivity across disaster zones. We have changed the notion that you can’t be as connected at sea as on land. And we have made the cloud available to businesses where it was never possible before,” said John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Executive Officer of SES Networks. “As this launch completes our first-gen O3b system of 20 satellites, it also marks the transition into our next-generation MEO system, O3b mPOWER, the only fully-funded NGSO broadband system in development today. When O3b mPOWER launches in 2021, SES will bring massive scale to our proven O3b model – driving digital transformation and cloud adoption virtually everywhere on the planet.”

Located almost 8,000 km away from the earth’s surface, the O3b constellation delivers fiber-equivalent performance and has massive geographic reach, enabling the delivery of high-performance data networks and solutions – including cloud services and applications – across the globe.