Sea Launch Company has signed a launch services agreement with O3b Networks for up to two launches in support of its Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) telecoms satellite constellation, with the first launch set for late 2010. Built by Thales Alenia Space, the O3b Networks satellites will be deployed by Sea Launch’s Zenit-3SL system in groups of eight per launch, to an equatorial injection orbit of 7,825 kilometers above the Earth. The satellites are designed to provide high-speed, ultra-low-latency internet protocol (IP) connectivity between emerging and developed markets worldwide.
‘We selected Sea Launch because of its knowledge, expertise and successful track record of moving payloads into orbit,’ said Greg Wyler, O3b Networks CEO. ‘With the placement of our first eight satellites, we will provide emerging-market network operators with a low-cost, high-speed alternative to connect their 3G, WiMAX and fixed-line networks to the rest of the world. This will allow consumers and businesses in emerging markets to benefit from high-speed Internet connectivity for educational, medical and commercial applications.’