Satellite operator SES has selected Arianespace to launch a fifth set of O3b satellites as well as a large geostationary orbit communications satellite, the companies announced Sept. 12.
Fleet operator SES placed a seven-satellite order with Boeing Satellite Systems International to build a second generation of O3b satellites that will have more than triple the capacity of ViaSat’s future ViaSat-3 constellation.
The additional connectivity will be provided via SES’s medium-Earth-orbit (MEO) O3b fleet as part of a high-throughput, low-latency satellite communications system SES GS is providing to the Pentagon, the company said.
Global satellite fleet operator SES has elevated the role of O3b Networks Chief Executive Steve Collar to one that oversees all of the company’s non-video broadcast business.
Boeing’s plan to deploy a constellation of V-band satellites in non-geostationary orbit has prompted at least five companies, including SpaceX and OneWeb, to file me-too proposals with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
ViaSat Inc and SES-owned O3b Ltd., two satellite fleet operators providing commercial Ka-band broadband from different orbital vantage points, look to become direct competitors based on new satellite constellations both are proposing to U.S. regulators.
Satellite fleet operator SES on July 29 said the cash it has set aside for new satellites may be spent as much on additional satellites for its just-acquired O3b Networks medium-Earth-orbit constellation as on a global Ka-band mobile broadband constellation to rival competitors ViaSat and Inmarsat.
Satellite fleet operator SES on May 26 said it would raise new equity to purchase 100 percent of medium-Earth-orbit Internet-delivery constellation O3b Networks, exercising a call option with O3b minority shareholders and eliminating the possibility of an O3b stock offering.
Satellite fleet operator SES on April 29 said it had taken a controlling interest in medium-Earth-orbit broadband constellation O3b Networks, upping its stake to 50.5% from 49.1 percent, for $20 million.
Satellite fleet operator SES’s $75 million investment in O3b Networks in November 2009 looked at the time like a weekend hobby — enough to save the life of O3b, but not enough to damage SES if O3b crashed and burned.
Satellite fleet operator SES on April 30 said demand for capacity from the O3b Networks constellation of medium-Earth-orbit Ka-band broadband satellites is accelerating faster than expected and that SES may move to become a majority shareholder before the end of 2016.
SES said it would jump into the market for offering global broadband communications from a low-orbiting constellation if the latest efforts announced by SpaceX, Google, Virgin Group and Qualcomm show signs of proving themselves.
A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket placed four O3b Networks high-throughput Ka-band broadband satellites into O3b’s unique 8,000-kilometer-altitude orbit, giving O3b a bigger margin for error as it manages its constellation.
Four O3b Networks broadband satellites are likely to be launched in mid-December aboard a Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket.
The decision to switch off the two satellites will increase the likelihood that O3b, which now has eight satellites in orbit, will be able to maintain the necessary six spacecraft in operation while waiting for its next four satellites to launch in early 2015, officials said.