Blast Off for O3b Networks

O3b Networks, a global satellite services provider, has successfully launched the first four satellites of its next generation network which combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fibre. Mott MacDonald has been acting as technical advisor to O3b Networks, its lenders and various project equity holders, since 2009.

Many countries do not have good terrestrial infrastructure in place for high speed internet, trunking and mobile networks backhauling. The O3b constellation, the first of its kind to operate in medium Earth orbit, will provide broadband connectivity within 45 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator. The system is scalable and is designed to allow the insertion of additional satellites into the constellation to increase capacity as demand grows.

As technical advisor, Mott MacDonald carried out due diligence on behalf of the lenders and evaluated the technical performance of the system and operations. The consultancy also assessed the cost, schedule and performance of the project to determine any potential technical, commercial or financial risks.

Mott MacDonald’s director of technology and communications Andrew Doyle said: “Of the many satellite projects Mott MacDonald has been involved in, this project represents one of the most complex and innovative from both a technological and business perspective. Bringing reliable and more affordable communications in underserved areas can have a potentially massive impact, as the observed correlation between mobile networks, broadband and gross domestic product growth shows.”

O3b Networks plan to launch four more satellites in September 2013, while another four satellites are under construction to expand the constellation to 12 satellites.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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