O3b satellites successfully launched

Monday July 14, 2014 Written by Published in Technology
O3b launched its next four satellites into orbit on Thursday, without any problems. 14071101 O3b launched its next four satellites into orbit on Thursday, without any problems. 14071101

New global internet provider O3b Networks has successfully launched its next group of four satellites from the Space Center in French Guiana.

O3b, which provides fast internet in the Cook Islands, now has eight satellites in orbit at an altitude of around 8000km.

Chief Executive Steve Collar said the company was thrilled at the successful launch of its satellites on Thursday.

“They will now go through a period of in-orbit testing before being fully integrated into our network as we continue to bring customers up across the world. The exciting O3b journey continues and we are already looking forward to our third launch early next year.”

The first four satellites were launched in 2013 and Telecom Cook Islands was the first customer to benefit when the service went live in mid-March, after months of testing.

Headquartered in Jersey, Channel Islands, O3b Networks’ aim is to create a space-based constellation capable of providing high-speed internet to “the other three billion people” in emerging markets.

“The O3b system will combine the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fibre‐optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low‐cost, high‐speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity,” the company says.

Having another four satellites in orbit should provide a more robust internet service here in the Cook Islands. Telecom’s transmitters have been tracking one satellite at a time, from horizon to horizon, switching to the next satellite every 90 minutes.

With eight satellites now in orbit, the handover will take place every 45 minutes.

Telecom will keep its existing geostationary satellite service in place in case of any future problems with the O3b satellites.

Rarotonga was the first to benefit from 03b and Telecom is hoping to extend the service to the entire southern group by the end of this year.

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