Satellite operator SES has successfully launched two additional O3b mPOWER satellites, a significant milestone for its medium Earth orbit (MEO) program. With these launches, SES has completed the number of craft it believes are necessary to provide high-performance network services with high throughput, predictable low latency, unique flexibility, and service availability.
The O3b mPOWER systems are designed to operate in the medium Earth orbit and offer an unprecedented increase in flexibility and throughput speed and capacity. The commercial service is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024. SES has already secured Microsoft as the first cloud provider customer for O3b mPOWER. The company believes that Microsoft can leverage the craft’s capabilities to enhance its Azure network worldwide.
SES is also partnering with other companies for its O3b mPOWER service. Orange, a leading telecommunications operator, will use O3b mPOWER to enhance its enterprise and mobile networks. Additionally, cruise operators such as Carnival and Virgin Voyages will benefit from the increased connectivity and capacity.
The fifth and sixth satellites in the O3b mPOWER constellation were launched by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US. The first four satellites, launched over the past year, have arrived at their designated orbital positions and are currently undergoing in-orbit checks and validation tests.
SES CEO Ruy Pinto expressed excitement about the successful launch, stating that the company is prepared to deliver the high-performance connectivity services customers require. The addition of these satellites will further enhance the network’s resiliency, ensuring reliable and secure connectivity for various operations.
SES has been actively deploying and testing O3b mPOWER terminals throughout 2023, serving customers in mobility, telecom, government, and enterprise sectors. In October 2023, the company announced plans to add two more satellites to the constellation, bringing the total number of O3b mPOWER satellites to 13. This additional investment will be covered within SES’s existing committed capital expenditure.