Four O3b satellites are already orbiting the earth, having been launched in July. The next four, which arrived in French Guiana on August 6, are due to be launched on September 30 – with high-speed service due to be up and running in the Cooks in November.
O3b, which Telecom signed up to in June 2010, aims to provide internet to places that can’t connect to fibre optic cable. The Cook Islands will be the first place in the world to be linked to O3b’s satellites, which will eventually help provide high-speed internet everywhere in the Cooks.
Technicians from Telecom and New Zealand-based company Kordia installed transmitters at Telecom’s Aroa site in March, which will improve internet speed by linking to the low-orbiting satellites that are only 8000km above the earth – a quarter of the distance of Telecom’s previous satellites.
The shorter distance means the satellite signal can reach the earth more quickly.
The satellites are now being tested to prepare them for the launch next month.