While much has been made of Elon Musk’s plan for 4000 small orbiting satellites and Sir Richard Branson’s backing for a rival 2400 mini-satellites scheme, the fact is that Jersey-based O3b is already beginning to serve “the other 3 billion” of the planet’s under-served potential broadband users.
O3b’s CEO Steve Collar told press at a Paris event that it expected to see revenues of some $100 million this year, and would likely be ordering more satellites by mid-year. It already has 12 craft in its fleet. Collar added that the O3b fleet expected to be offering 1 Terabit/second of throughput within the next 3-4 years.
SES owns 47 per cent of O3b, and its fellow investors include Google and Liberty Media. However, SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh said he expected SES to become O3b’s majority owner by 2017. Google holds about 5 per cent of O3b.