O3b to provide high speed connectivity to Palau and FSM
Global satellite service provider O3b Networks yesterday announced a major long-term capacity deal to provide high-speed, low-latency capacity to the Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) and the Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC).
This is the same provider with which American Samoa Telecommunication Authority (ASTCA) signed an agreement earlier this year to provide up to 1.2Gbps of future broadband connectivity for Internet and other services for American Samoa, targeting a start date in the 4th quarter of this year.
The PNCC-FSMTC deal adds to O3b’s growing presence in the Pacific region. In yesterday’s press release the company said by “delivering highly affordable and ubiquitous bandwidth with the performance and speed of fiber, the region will enjoy much improved connectivity, benefiting both private and corporate customers in Palau and Yap.”
Steve Collar, O3b’s CEO said, “We are delighted to announce this deal, which follows on from our agreement with Telecom Cook Islands. Satellite technology offers a solution that tackles a number of the underlying issues for service providers such as PNCC and FSMTC. Compared to the conventional Geostationary Orbit (GSO) satellites currently available, the new O3b solution utilizes MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) satellites at much lower altitudes. This means that O3b can offer fiber-like speeds with lower latency at more affordable pricing.”
“The O3b solution is a good alternative solution for Palau. Since it has much lower up-front costs and a shorter start-up period than fiber cable, O3b will enable PNCC to improve the quality of service to its customers sooner than otherwise would have been the case, ” said Richard Misech, general manager of PNCC.
Likewise, John D. Sohl, president and CEO of FSMTC is enthusiastic saying, " O3B offers us the chance to deploy reliable and scalable technology as we look to improve our network. Providing these services in Micronesia provides its own set of challenges, but there is no reason why our customers should not expect services similar to those enjoyed in developed countries like the US or Australia."
The announcement follows the launch of O3b’s first four satellites at the Guiana Space Center on June 25. The second group of four satellites are due to launch at the end of this month, with the company’s commercial service starting later in the year.
The O3b network will deliver broadband connectivity everywhere on Earth within 45 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator. The coverage area includes emerging and insufficiently connected markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the Pacific with a collective population of over 3 billion people, and that’s how the company’s name came about.
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