SES launches four MEO satellites

SES  has launched four O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana on 4 April.

The Soyuz launch by Arianespace marks a significant milestone in SES’s O3b MEO journey, bringing the number of O3b satellites to 20, and making the transition into its next-generation MEO system. The seamless scalability of the constellation means that the additional satellites will enhance coverage across the globe and enable SES Networks to provide greater service availability and reliability to cater to the increasing demand for networked applications in the government, telecom, cloud, maritime and energy markets. The satellites were built by Thales Alenia Space.

Speaking about the launch, John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Executive Officer of SES Networks, said: “This launch marks a very important part in the O3b journey. We started O3b with this bold vision of changing lives by connecting people. We wanted to create a meaningful impact, and we have connected underserved communities with high-performance internet. We have restored connectivity across disaster zones. We have changed the notion that you can’t be as connected at sea as on land. And we have made the cloud available to businesses where it was never possible before. As this launch completes our first-gen O3b system of 20 satellites, it also marks the transition into our next-generation MEO system, O3b mPOWER, the only fully-funded NGSO broadband system in development today. When O3b mPOWER launches in 2021, SES will bring massive scale to our proven O3b model – driving digital transformation and cloud adoption virtually everywhere on the planet.”

The four satellites in the O3b constellation were built by Thales Alenia Space, JV between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%, as prime contractor for SES.

Jean-Loïc Galle CEO Thales Alenia Space, added: “Thales Alenia Space is very proud of this successful launch. By building O3b constellation we are helping our customer SES grow their market and improve communications services across the world. Thanks to our unrivaled expertise we are ready to offer new telecom solutions that provide even higher performance, with more integrated and digital systems.”