Next month, SES will launch four new O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, according to a company blog post.
The new Ka-band satellites will join the existing O3b fleet of 12 satellites already in orbit at an altitude of 8,000 kilometers. Service availability is expected to expand from +/- 45 degrees latitude to +/- 50 degrees latitude.
O3b delivers high-speed broadband services up to 10 Gbps per second to telecommunications operators, mobile network operators (MNOs), enterprises, internet service providers (ISPs) and government customers. Latency is in the 200 millisecond range, about a fourth of what a typical geosynchronous satellite service delivers.
Another four new satellites have been built and are expected to be launched later this year, bringing the existing O3b constellation up to 20 satellites. In 2021, SES plans to add seven new Ka-band "super-powered" MEO satellites, each capable of delivering multiple terabits of throughput and up to 30,000 steerable beams.