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Satellite operator O3b networks has closed a $460 million funding exercise, and has promptly ordered up a batch of eight more Ka-band satellites additional to its existing 12-craft constellation. Satellite operator SES, which already owns a 45 per cent stake in O3b, says it has also “participated” in the fresh funding round although declines to say by how much.
These new satellites should be in launched and in position by 2018.
O3b’s core mission is to reach the ‘other 3 billion’ unserved or underserved consumers who want broadband connectivity.
The constellation operates at 8000 kms above the Earth’s surface and supply trunking and data-connectivity for some of the hardest places to reach in the world. Recent contracts have come from the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa, Colombia and East Timor.
O3b has enjoyed a particular success in serving passengers and crew on some of the world’s largest cruise liners.
SES is a 45 per cent investor in O3b, and other shareholders include Google, Liberty Global and Allen & Co.