SES and Gilat tap O3b’s mPOWER
November 3, 2020
By Chris Forrester
SES has signed Gilat and ST Engineering iDirect as its latest technology partners on its O3b mPower satellites. This means that Gilat and ST Engineering’s ‘next generation’ modems will be developed for use on the satellite operator’s O3b mPower craft.
SES says Gilat and ST Engineering iDirect were selected based on their next-generation modem technologies. “Featuring open architectures with a path to full virtualisation, the modems will interface with SES’s differentiated Adaptive Resource Control (ARC) capability and leverage SES’s use of the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) standard. The combination of this and other technologies will give SES the ability to dynamically control and optimise the entire O3b mPOWER system across space and ground infrastructure, enabling the efficient delivery of low-latency and high-throughput satellite-based data services that can be truly customised to fit specific connectivity requirements on land, at sea or in the air anywhere in the world.”
O3b mPOWER is SES’s new medium Earth orbit (MEO) communications system. The mPower satellites are currently under construction and on track for launch in 2021. The high-throughput craft, as well as automated and intelligence-powered ground infrastructure, will deliver low-latency managed services from hundreds of Mb/s up to multiple Gb/s.
“We are honoured to have been selected by SES, our long-time strategic partner, to provide our next-generation baseband platform for O3b mPOWER. Gilat’s innovative ground segment significantly reduces cost-per-bit, delivers a step-change in modem performance, and further integrates with and optimises SES ground and space service delivery,” said Ron Levin, VP/Mobility and Global Accounts at Gilat. “Throughout the last year, we have been working closely with SES to develop the platform for O3b mPOWER with the joint goal of bringing to market unparalleled customer experience in all target verticals.”
“We are at the beginning of a new future for our industry. To be selected for O3b mPOWER is a tremendous validation of ST Engineering iDirect’s technology vision and proves that ground infrastructure will play a pivotal role in SES’s ambitious goal to transform satellite service delivery,” said Frederik Simoens, CTO, ST Engineering iDirect. “O3b mPOWER is at the forefront of a significant movement to drive a standards-based, virtualised network approach where ground is in lockstep with space. Through our partnership, we will greatly expand the possibilities for global connectivity.”
“The basis of our O3b mPOWER communications system is defined and advanced by a diverse and robust partner ecosystem. As an industry, we are able to embrace the vision of open networking and seamless satellite services because of like-minded partners such as Gilat and ST Engineering iDirect who understand the step-change in system flexibility and capacity that O3b mPOWER will deliver,” said Stewart Sanders, SES’s EVP/Technology and O3b mPOWER programme manager. “We have first-hand experience over many years of working with both Gilat and ST Engineering iDirect and have always been impressed with their work as well as what their technologies can provide. Hence, we have full confidence in selecting these two outstanding companies as trusted partners for O3b mPOWER and to deliver a key part of our infrastructure supporting an unparalleled customer experience.”
SES reminds clients that it has been steadily expanding its O3b mPOWER partner ecosystem. In addition to Gilat and ST Engineering iDirect, SES has also announced O3b mPOWER partnerships with SpaceX for launches, ALCAN, Isotropic Systems and Viasat for customer edge terminals, Amdocs for NFV technology, Kythera Space Solutions for the ARC software, Microsoft for gateways, and IBM and Microsoft for cloud connectivity.