O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation of Ka-band satellites orbits at approximately 8,000 km from Earth — four times closer to the planet than geostationary (GEO) satellites, delivering connectivity with low latency and fiber-like performance for data services anywhere on the planet. And now SES will offer increased capacity across the globe through the expanded O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation.
The O3b fleet is the only non-geostationary (NGSO) system delivering fiber-like broadband services today. The expanded satellite constellation enables SES Networks to bring 38 percent more capacity, enhancing coverage and increasing performance to market, while continuing to drive digital equality to support digital transformation worldwide. The additional capacity will also cater to the growing consumption of bandwidth in the fixed data, mobility and government markets.
John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Executive Officer at SES Networks said that their customers have been waiting patiently for the new satellites to enter service. As the only company operating a successful non-geostationary broadband system, they are thrilled that these new satellites will be able to connect underserved communities and to transform lives through improved broadband access, as well as be part of the enhanced connectivity experience they deliver to ships, planes and government platforms.
The four new O3b satellites were successfully launched by an Arianespace Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana on 9 March 2018, bringing the total number of MEO satellites in the O3b fleet to 16. Four more O3b satellites are scheduled for launch in H1 2019.
The next generation of O3b satellites, O3b mPOWER, are scheduled for launch in 2021 and will bring massive scale and flexibility to the proven O3b model. The seven super-powered MEO satellites will have more than 30,000 dynamic, electronically-generated fully-shapeable and steerable beams that can be shifted and switched in real time. It will provide coverage to an area of nearly 400 million square kilometres and will be scalable to multiple terabits of throughput globally.