Global satellite service provider O3b Networks has announced a long-term capacity deal under which it says it will provide ‘fibre equivalent capacity’ to Malaysian telecoms provider Maju Nusa. Tthe ‘multi-million dollar, multi-year’ deal, which was awarded under the auspices of the Malaysian Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, is expected to allow Maju Nusa to deploy mobile data services to rural communities in Malaysia where there is currently little or no access to broadband. Commenting on the deal, Maju Nusa’s managing director Shahruddin Salehuddin, noted: ‘Maju Nusa will employ O3b’s capacity to extend our reach to remote areas by offering high bandwidth, superior quality of service and still be more cost effective when compared to traditional geo satellites. This announcement is an important step forward as we look to play our part in the 1Malaysia initiative, closing the digital divide between rural and urban areas … Utilising the O3b network, Maju Nusa will be able to deliver 3G service to customers over satellite from 2014. For many, this will mean that they will go from zero connectivity to 3G for cellular services practically overnight.’ The executive also claimed that the deal with O3b will allow Maju Nusa to reduce its capital expenditure, while also allowing it aggregate the 111 sites it currently has across Peninsular Malaysia to just 20 customer terminal locations.