Google, Liberty Back O3b 661002

O3b Networks to deploy world's first high-speed, low-cost satellite system to transform communications access for billions worldwide

September 9, 2008

2 Min Read

ST. JOHN, U.K. -- O3b Networks Ltd. today announced it will begin deployment of a new global communications infrastructure to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet connectivity to emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Backed with financial and operational support from Google Inc., Liberty Global, Inc. and HSBC Principal Investments, the new system will reduce bandwidth costs for telecommunications operators (telcos) and Internet service providers (ISPs) – enabling cost-effective voice and broadband services at speeds equivalent to those enjoyed in the developed world.

Developed nations, particularly in the northern hemisphere, are well served by an extensive submarine fiber network. The deployment of a fiber network in many developing markets is not commercially viable, let alone practical.

The O3b Networks system will offer fiber performance over satellite, at prices comparable to fiber in developed regions. By allowing direct connection to core networks and 3G Cellular/WiMAX towers, the O3b Networks system will completely change the economics of telecommunications infrastructure in the world’s fastest-growing markets for communications services.

The rapid growth of telecommunications services in emerging markets demonstrates the demand as well as the commercial and social benefits available. In O3b Networks’ target markets, where the deployment of high-capacity bandwidth is restricted due to geographic, economic or political barriers, the Company’s low-cost, low-latency Internet backhaul and 3G Cellular backhaul services will allow telcos and ISPs to offer affordable, high-speed Internet access services – effectively bridging the digital divide between developed and emerging markets.

O3b Networks’ operational and technical development is well underway. Production of the initial constellation of 16 satellites has begun. The system’s 2,133 transponder equivalents will deliver low-latency Internet backhaul at speeds reaching 10 gigabits per second. Service activation is scheduled for late 2010. The scalable nature of the system allows for additional satellites to increase capacity and meet growing demand.

O3b Networks was founded by successful high-technology entrepreneur Greg Wyler with a mission of making the Internet accessible and affordable for billions of people in emerging and developed markets. Wyler, along with O3b Networks Chairman John W. Dick, recently helped pioneer the first commercial 3G mobile and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in Africa. That experience revealed the urgent need in developing countries for low-latency, gigabit backhaul services that can power high-speed data and voice connectivity for consumers, businesses, schools and health care facilities.

“Access to the Internet backbone is still severely limited in emerging markets,” Wyler said. “Only when emerging markets achieve affordable and ubiquitous access to the rest of the world will we observe locally generated content, widespread e-learning, telemedicine and many more enablers to social and economic growth which reflect the true value of the Internet. O3b Networks will bring multi-gigabit Internet speeds directly to emerging markets, whether landlocked in Africa or isolated by water in the Pacific Islands.”

O3b Networks Ltd.

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