Satellite broadband capacity provider O3b Networks has opened a gateway ground station near Lima, Peru, in a move the company says brings it a step closer to the start of service in 2014.

In a press release dated Nov. 25, O3b, based in Britain’s Channel Islands, said the gateway is located at a Telefonica facility in Lurin, south of Lima. The ground station will provide launch and early operations support for O3b’s low-orbiting satellite constellation and also will serve as a gateway for network services.

“We are delighted to partner with Telefonica at this state-of-the-art Gateway here in Lurin,” O3b Chief Executive Steve Collar said in a prepared statement. “Through this teleport we will access the Andean region as well as the Caribbean, Central America and parts of the Amazon, delivering broadband connectivity over satellite with the speed and performance of fiber.”

O3b is planning a constellation of up 12 to 20 Ka-band satellites providing broadband and other services, primarily to telecom providers in the developing world. The company’s first four satellites are in orbit, with four to eight more scheduled to launch next year.