SES adds extra capacity for Papua New Guinea
November 2, 2022
By Chris Forrester
SES, which unveils its latest quarterly financials on November 3rd, has signed an agreement with Digicel Pacific for 40 per cent more satellite capacity to Papua New Guinea.
Digicel is taking extra bandwidth on SES’s O3b mPOWER satellite fleet to provide its customers with seamless connectivity following damage to the international Pipe Pacific Cable (PPC) which typically connects Papua New Guinea to Australia and rest of the world. The additional O3b services will continue to help Digicel Pacific maintain connectivity during outages caused by such cable breaks while also expanding coverage across the remote parts of the country, a crucial enhancement for the 80 per cent of Papua New Guineans residing in rural areas, says SES.
The support from SES comes at a critical time for the South Pacific island after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in September caused damage to multiple cable systems, resulting in large disruption to data services across most of the country. During the disruption, SES assisted Digicel Pacific with emergency bandwidth, providing an increase of 40 per cent in high-performance, low-latency O3b services deployed across 12 sites throughout the country to keep communities connected. SES also stepped in with an incremental 3 Gb/s of capacity and additional ground equipment to enable Digicel Pacific to restore its network connectivity and critical communications services for both consumers and telecommunication customers.
With this move, SES says it confirms its position in the region as the only satellite provider who has the capability to commit to high-throughput, low-latency services to mobile network operators, enabling them to quickly restore communications networks in times of outages. Likewise, for the past decade, governments and businesses around the Pacific – including other islands prone to natural disasters like the Kingdom of Tonga – have similarly leveraged the O3b system to provide resiliency to their networks in times of need. The availability of high-speed bandwidth and low-latency connectivity has played a key role in narrowing the digital divide in Papua New Guinea, particularly in parts of the nation not reachable by fibre.
“Unfortunately, we have seen more frequent and intense natural disasters occurring in the Pacific Islands over the last decade, which is why safeguarding networks and providing network resilience is more critical than ever,” said John Turnbull, Director for Fixed Data, Pacific at SES. “SES and Digicel Pacific are committing to connect residents in Papua New Guinea with the high-performance and most reliable connectivity needed to accelerate restoration efforts. With O3b mPOWER, we can further leverage the system’s future-proof scalability and guaranteed performance to achieve an even higher level of network resilience and safety.”