O3b Networks has announced the signing of an agreement to provide high speed, low-latency capacity to Somaliland-based telecoms company Somtel. The operator has contracted substantial capacity through the O3bTrunk solution as it seeks to serve growing consumer and corporate demand in its core markets. ‘With the lack of fibre options in the Somali Republic, and the cost and latency issues associated with geostationary satellites, O3b is well placed to support many customers in Africa,’ commented O3b’s VP for Africa and Latam, Omar Trujillo. The O3b service, which is due to formally launch in 2014, offers lower delay than long-haul fibre with a round trip latency of less than 150 milliseconds, delivering high quality voice and video in the satellite industry at an affordable cost. ‘At present, connectivity is neither reliable nor adequate in Somalia. The O3b solution will give Somtel the chance to bring vastly improved internet connectivity with better performance. Customers will experience greater reliability, better quality voice calls and be able to stream video and enroll in e-learning amongst other applications,’ commented Somtel’s CTO Ismail Dualeh.