Ground equipment provider Comtech EF Data Corp. has entered into a partnership agreement with O3b Networks that will ensure that Comtech products available today will be compatible with O3b’s planned satellite-based Internet backbone service.

In a Feb. 28 press release, Tempe, Ariz.-based Comtech EF said the deal applies to variants of the company’s modems, very small aperture terminal, or VSAT, solutions and other products. Telecommunications operators and Internet service providers that have or are planning to buy these products for use with geostationary-orbiting satellites will be able to use them with O3b’s system as well, the press release said.

Based in Britain’s Channel Islands, O3b is developing a constellation of low-orbiting satellites that will provide backbone connectivity to regional telecommunications providers located primarily in developing countries near the equator. O3b has 12 satellites under contract, with the first eight scheduled to launch in early 2013.