SES announced progress in establishing its new and highly advanced O3b mPOWER satellite ground stations. Accordingly, the first three O3b mPOWER satellites are scheduled for launch in Q3 2021, with the next three in the first quarter of 2022.

The soon-to-be-opened satellite ground stations utilizing SES’ next-generation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) system include a new generation of fast-install 5.5-meter carbon fiber antennas which can be installed without the need for expensive and time-consuming photogrammetry. In addition, they will utilize energy-efficient solid-state power amplifiers.

As a further innovation to the existing O3b satellite ground station, the O3b mPOWER satellites will deliver high-speed connectivity services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second, providing fiber-like connectivity to customers globally.

Two of these initial O3b mPOWER satellite ground stations are located at New South Wales, Australia, and Thermopylae, Greece. Other locations include SES’s own satellite ground station in Hawaii, Perth, Australia; Phoenix, Arizona; Chile; the United Arab Emirates; and Senegal.

Furthermore, four of the satellite ground stations will be co-located and operated with Microsoft’s Azure data centers. This will optimize the business operations of O3b mPOWER customers with significant flexibility and agility.

Stewart Sanders, Executive Vice President of Technology and O3b mPOWER program manager at SES, said: “We are thrilled to have chosen these eight locations and construction is underway.  We are also deep in discussions with several telco players and operators who are keen to have their own O3b mPOWER satellite ground station. This is particularly exciting, as it means that SES’s provision of a core network of command, control, and data gateways will be augmented with a number of customer satellite ground stations; satellite ground stations provisioned according to our customer needs, with regards to location, size and infrastructure requirements.  We expect a number of these customer satellite ground stations to include virtualized installations of the cloud at the edge of the deployed networks, thus improving the end-user experience.”

The satellite ground stations will use SES’s gateway management system for automated operations and handovers, aiming to offer improved efficiency and lower the total cost of ownership.

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