Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.
November 29, 2010
O3b Networks Ltd. , the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)-backed satellite backhaul startup, has completed its final round of funding before service launch in 2013, bringing the total amount the venture has raised to $1.2 billion.
O3b (which stands for the "other 3 billion") has secured $770 million in debt financing and $410 million in equity investments from banks and investors including Google, SES S.A. (Paris: SESG), HSBC Holdings plc , ING Group , the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, and International Finance Corp.
O3b said that it is now fully funded to launch its first eight medium earth orbit Ka-band satellites and to start offering transmission services to ISPs and telecom operators in the first half of 2013. (See Google Backs Backhaul Startup.)
Why this matters
When O3b started in 2008, the company's original plan was to launch the satellites and services by the end of this year. Even though the company has delayed its launch by almost three years, it has still managed to raise an impressive amount of funding during a difficult and challenging period for the global economy.
O3b's model for connecting the "other 3 billion" -- which refers to nearly half of the world's population that does not have adequate broadband access -- is compelling as well.
Rather than trying to serve those customers directly, O3b is providing the transmission capacity to ISPs, mobile operators, and telcos that will connect their access networks to their core networks and the Internet. The company claims its satellites will cover 70 percent of the world's population.
Google's involvement in O3b is also interesting because the project is one of the Internet giant's infrastructure activities, which have included femtocells, dark fiber, and undersea cables. (See UbiquiSys Gets Google Boost, Google Builds Undersea Cable, and Google: Dark Fiber Story Not So Dark .)
Check out these stories for background on O3b's progress since it started in 2008, and Google's infrastructure investments:
Google's Powerline Play
Google Invests in 3G Startup
Google Goes Nuclear
O3b Wins Congo Deal
O3b Touts Backhaul Demand
O3b Touts Orders, New HQ
O3b Wins Backhaul Deals
O3b Wins in Africa
O3b Scores in Ghana
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile
Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.
You May Also Like
Rethinking AIOPs — It's All About the DataMar 12, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Fiddling with Fixed WirelessMar 21, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Cable and 5G: The Odd Couple?Apr 18, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Delivering the DAA DifferenceMay 16, 2024