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SES unveils O3b satellites capable of delivering multi-gigabit connectivity

Leading global satellite-enabled content connectivity solutions provider, SES has unveiled its O3b mPOWER constellation of 11 satellites together with its manufacturing partner, Boeing. The satellites are currently going through testing and system integration at Boeing’s satellite facilities in El Segundo in preparation for launch in December.

The constellation is a non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) operating in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). It is capable of delivering multi-gigabit connectivity services to a variety of industries globally, including telecommunications, maritime and aviation, as well as governments and international institutions.

The O3b mPOWER is a second-generation SES’s O3b MEO system, making it the only NGSO system based on a field-tested model of technical and commercial success.

The software-driven communications system is capable of delivering intelligence-driven connectivity services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second, enabling customers to optimise their global bandwidth availability and resiliency.

Speaking on the launch, Jim Chilton, Senior Vice President of Boeing Space and Launch explained the rigour the team undertook to get the technology to perfection.

“Prior to launch, there’s quite a rigorous build and test process that the satellites will go through to simulate the space environment in every way so that the satellite can withstand the dynamic launch environment and that the satellite operates as intended once it reaches space. Our unique collaboration with SES has allowed us to jointly arrive at a next-generation satellite system that meets the needs of SES’s customers today”, he said.

On his part, Steve Collar, CEO of SES said:

“We are really excited to have unveiled the O3b mPOWER satellites together with Boeing ahead of the first launch at the end of the year. This system’s massive throughput and its ability to dynamically adapt and scale bandwidth to match customers’ evolving needs in real-time is a first in the space and satellite industry, and is exactly what our customers are looking for”.

In the same vein, SES announced that Microsoft has signed as the latest O3b mPOWER customer. Microsoft will use the MEO services for additional network diversity, service resiliency and gigabit connectivity as more critical workloads move to the cloud. Other publicly-announced O3b mPOWER customers include Carnival Cruises, Orange and iSat Africa.SES also announced a partnership with leading cloud services providers to deliver secure and dedicated connectivity to their customers’ demanding cloud-based applications that span dense cities to remote, rural locations.

The first batch of three O3b mPOWER satellites will be launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral in December 2021, followed by two more launches in 2022. The constellation will start delivering services as of Q3 2022. TechNext

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