O3b is a constellation of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites backed by Luxembourg-based operator SES. Unlike geostationary satellites which orbit at very high levels above the Earth, these MEOs fly around the planet at heights of 5009 miles and at very high speed. Nevertheless, SES has demonstrated that O3b can also comfortably handle HD video and even Ultra HD.
SES’ Government Solutions division hosted a demo of O3b’s capability at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida to members of the US armed forces, and show-cased “HD full motion video and simultaneously stream 4K real-time video at fibre-like speeds in a remote field of operations with no fibre infrastructure”.
“O3b is a ground-breaking technology that will greatly enhance government capabilities. This is not just an incremental boost in network performance, but offers the potential to change the way users operate, providing communication capabilities not previously available,” said President/CEO at SES Government Solutions, Tip Osterthaler. “It gives the warfighter fibre-like connectivity on day one of operations.”
Four more O3b satellites are due to be launched next week, on December 18th, by an Arianespace Soyuz rocket, meaning that O3b will have 12 satellites in orbit.