Satellite company wins major backing

Trying to bring the internet to the 'other three billion'

SES joins Google, Liberty Global, HSBC and North Bridge Venture Partners as an investor in O3b.

SES will also provide engineering and commercial support.

O3b is building an ultra-low latency, fibre-speed satellite network to serve as a global internet backbone and backhaul connection for people and businesses in emerging markets. The company will partner with telecommunications providers and internet service providers (ISPs) to serve billions.

“O3b’s positioning perfectly meets our vision of bringing people closer together through the power of satellites”, said Romain Bausch, president and CEO of SES. “Through its innovative satellite technology, O3b will be able to provide emerging markets with fast, competitively priced internet connectivity that is currently only available to the developed world.”

Greg Clark, CEO of O3b, said: ”SES already reaches billions of people through the global reach of their satellite network. Now they will be able to join us in offering an advanced solution to those who have so far been poorly served, or completely cut off, from the internet. The financial, technical and commercial support of SES will help make O3b one of the most innovative communications companies on the planet.”

O3b will initially launch eight satellites into medium earth orbit (8,000 km from the earth), four times closer to the planet than geostationary satellites and therefore offering lower latency. The company hopes its satellite network will eventually reach approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population.

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