Satellite operator SES is backing O3b, a new global high-speed Internet network. O3b, which stands for the “other 3 billion” of people with little or no access to the Internet, says it has signed a five-year global framework agreement with Etisalat Group, headquartered in the UAE and with more than 100 million customers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This framework agreement will enable any of Etisalat Group’s Operating Companies (OpCos) to benefit from O3b services under a separate bilateral agreement.
O3b, besides SES, has backing from Google, Liberty Global, HSBC and other high-profile names. Based in Jersey (Channel Islands) the company will place a fleet of satellites in Mid-Earth Orbit (MEOs) at about 8,000 kms above the Earth. O3b has raised $1.2bn in funding in order to have its Ka-band fleet fully operational by 2015.