SAN FRANCISCO — Satellite operator SES has begun providing broadband communications with its first six O3b mPower satellites.

The Boeing-built satellites, which have experienced electrical problems, feature an integrated payload array to offer gigabits per second of throughput.

Two additional SES mPower satellites are scheduled to launch later this year.

SES has worked closely with Boeing and its other space and ground-segment partners to bring the mPower satellites online, SES CEO Adel Al-Saleh said in a statement. “We are very excited that O3b mPower is now ready to serve our customers around the world,” he added.

Flat Panels

The satellites, built on Boeing’s 702X platform, are smaller than traditional geostationary communications satellites. Boeing took its heritage communications payload elements and fit them into the satellite equivalent of a flat-panel TV, Michelle Parker, Boeing Space Mission Systems vice president, said in an interview at the 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

While the underlying technology including the software-defined aspects of the payload are working well in orbit, the mPower satellites experienced an “electrical power supply glitch,” Parker said.

Boeing has worked closely with SES to determine the cause, find remedies for the satellites on orbit and fix the problem for the additional mPower satellites being built, Parker said.

The original O3b mPower constellation included 11 satellites. Boeing is building two additional mPower satellites to provide the performance SES anticipated for the constellation.

“We’re excited to deliver even more power with the next set of satellites that will be delivered later this year,” Parker said in a statement.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...