For long, internet connectivity through satellites has been hailed as an effective solution for such regions where fiber infrastructures are not in place. Acting to this idea, O3b Networks has launched its first satellites which aims to bring low-cost and high-speed internet connectivity to remote regions.
Rather than using the more expensive geostationary satellites, O3b is using MEO satellites which are far more affordable and tend to bring down the costs of internet connectivity. The company has launched four satellites for now which have already been able to establish contact with the O3b gateway in Hawaii.
Although geostationary satellites offer the advantage of larger coverage area and being stationary over a given location, they have to be at very high altitudes, resulting in high latency. Such high latency can be a problem when providing internet connectivity.
MEO satellites, on the other hand, are stationed at a lower altitude and offer lower latency. O3b intends to launch another four MEO satellites by September. Although the company’s undertaking looks ambitious, it is backed by a number of tech giants including Google and was able to raise a whopping $1.3 billion to bring together the satellites and operational equipment for the project.
Since Google is among the key backers of the project, it is also possible that the search giant eventually decides to leverage the power of these MEO satellites for its Project Loon, which aims to provide internet connectivity through hot air balloons.
Courtesy: PC World