O3b Networks and SpeedCast International Limited (ASX: SDA) have announced an agreement to provide connectivity over the innovative O3b satellite network. The service will be provided to consumers, businesses and government customers by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (Kiribati) Limited (ATHKL), a subsidiary of Amalgamated Telecom Holdings of Fiji.

The Republic of Kiribati has a population of about 100,000 living on 33 atolls and islands, across 3.5 million square km of ocean. O3b is the ideal solution, as the dispersed geography makes laying undersea fibre cables unreasonably expensive and time-consuming. Existing geostationary (GEO) satellites can’t match the O3b network’s high throughput and low latency, which is necessary for modern e-commerce, e-government, e-education and e-Health applications.

Kiribati is in the final stages of testing the O3b link, and will first deploy the service to Tarawa, the largest island in the country. The multi-year agreement provides flexibility to expand capacity where required, to ensure ATHKL can provide high performance connectivity for HD video, e-commerce, online education, or cloud services.

O3b’s Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites orbit at 8,062km above the Earth and have a latency of less than 150 msec—25% that of the geostationary (GEO) satellite systems connecting Kiribati. The switch to the lower latency, higher throughput O3b service will transform the island nation providing connectivity equivalent to long-haul fiber, while avoiding the exorbitant cost of laying an undersea cable to the island.

“SpeedCast is happy to partner with ATHKL and O3b to quickly and cost-effectively provide the people of Kiribati cutting-edge technology, enabling economic growth and access to all forms of e-commerce, education and health,” said Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO of SpeedCast. “ATHKL will first bring their world class internet connectivity to the people of Tarawa, and, in time, to the rest of the country.”

“O3b and SpeedCast are delighted to support ATHKL in bringing Kiribati into a new era of connectivity,” said Imran Malik, VP Asia for O3b Networks. “With O3b’s high throughput and low latency connection, with value adds from SpeedCast, Kiribati is stepping into the future.”

This announcement follows the expansion of SpeedCast’s O3b-based infrastructure in the Pacific, with customers in Port Moresby and Lae, PNG; Christmas Island, Australia; and Solomon Islands, already benefiting from O3b’s high throughput low latency advantage .

About O3b Networks Limited
O3b Networks Limited is a global satellite service provider operating a next-generation satellite network for telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, and enterprise and government customers in emerging markets. The O3b system combines the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fiber?optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low?cost, highspeed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity. O3b Networks’ investors include SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart. O3b Networks is headquartered in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.

About SpeedCast International Limited
SpeedCast International Limited (ASX: SDA) is a leading global satellite communications and network service provider, offering high-quality managed network services in over 90 countries and a global maritime network serving customers worldwide. With a worldwide network of 33 sales and support offices and 31 teleport operations, SpeedCast has a unique infrastructure to serve the requirements of customers globally. With over 5,000 links on land and at sea supporting mission critical applications, SpeedCast has distinguished itself with a strong operational expertise and a highly efficient support organization. For more information, visit www.speedcast.com.