Standard Geosynchronous (GEO) satellites operate approximately 36,000km away from Earth. As a result, round-trip data transmission times significantly exceed 500 milliseconds. O3b’s Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites are far closer – approximately 8,000km away from Earth. As a result, round-trip data transmission times are reduced to approximately 130 milliseconds.
This virtually eliminates the delay that plagues voice and data communications via GEO satellite systems. For example, it means that users can download a web page four times as quickly.
O3b’s system employs parabolic antennas, which can handle large chunks of data. This helps O3b to deliver an ultra-low-latency trunking solution.
The first phase of the project requires eight medium-orbit satellites, though the system is designed to be modular, so more satellites can be added to increase capacity.
O3b will begin commercial service in 2013, providing telecommunications companies and ISP’s with a fast, inexpensive backbone for 3G, WiMAX, and fixed-line networks, it said. If all goes according to plan, in two years this technology could advance Internet connectivity in more than 150 countries occupying all corners of the globe.
O3b Networks delivers broadband connectivity everywhere on earth within 45 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator.
Our vast coverage area includes emerging and insufficiently connected markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, with a collective population of over 3 billion people:
Middle East and Africa:
Today, approximately 20 per cent of trunking traffic across the Middle East and Africa is delivered via standard geostationary satellites at a price several times higher than that offered by O3b.
O3b’s state-of-the-art services will therefore bring higher capacity, lower latency, lower cost broadband access to millions of African and Middle Eastern consumers, businesses and other organisations.
Much of this vast region continues to suffer from a fragmented fiber infrastructure and high connectivity costs.
O3b’s fast, reliable, affordable satellite connectivity therefore offers substantial benefits across the region, especially in areas outside hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul, where broadband costs remain high, the fiber infrastructure remains poor and there is a need for 3G cellular backhaul across large distances.
Large areas across Latin America are characterised by low population densities, poor fiber infrastructure and high connectivity costs.
O3b’s groundbreaking services will therefore enable millions of consumers and businesses to enjoy reliable, low-cost, low-latency broadband connectivity for the first time.
Even in the US, limited connectivity to cellular towers in areas such as parts of the Midwest renders O3b’s services highly attractive to operators.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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