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Satellite launch on the horizon

Thursday May 30, 2013 Written by Published in Technology

Telecom is gearing up for the launch of new satellites that will help deliver high-speed internet to the Cook Islands.

Telecom Cook Islands’ chief executive officer Jules Maher has been invited to the launch of four satellites in French Guiana by service provider O3b.

Transmitters have previously been installed on Rarotonga, with the Cook Islands being the first place in the world to use the equipment. The transmitters will be linked to the satellites – the first of which are due to launch in June – which will help provide high-speed internet everywhere in the Cooks.

O3b, which Telecom signed up to in June 2010, aims to provide internet to the “other three billion” people worldwide who can’t connect to fibre optic cable.

Technicians from Telecom and New Zealand-based company Kordia had been working at Telecom’s Aroa site since March 18 to install the transmitters, which will improve internet speed and by linking to satellites that are only 8000km above the earth – a quarter of the distance of Telecom’s current satellites. The shorter distance means the satellite signal can reach the earth more quickly.

O3B will be launching four satellites on June 24, followed by another four in September – with more to follow in the future.

The satellites are launched from French Guiana, in north east South American because it is close to the equator.

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