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O3b satellites get ready for lift-off

Operator’s first customer is already fully operational, boosting 2014 momentum

O3b Networks has announced that its second group of four satellites has successfully completed all required ground testing and is now ready to ship. The satellites will be launched from Le Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG), Kourou, French Guiana.

The satellites will soon be transported from the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome to Kourou, to be launched in the first week of June, pending final confirmation from Arianespace, the launch provider. Following the launch and with four more satellites in-orbit, O3b will start commercial service for all O3b customers on a global basis.

Boosting the company’s momentum, O3b says it already has a customer fully operational. According to the company, Telecom Cook Islands has worked with O3b to validate the system performance since launch of the initial constellation in June 2013. Meeting all standards and expectations, Telecom Cook Islands then decided to initiate full commercial operation in the Cook Islands over the O3b fleet.

“We have great momentum in 2014, completing our next four satellites and now with our first customer fully operational. It has been so gratifying to see the impact that delivering broadband for the first time to the Cook Islands has had. The wide-eyed excitement at instantaneous downloads, zero delay voice and Skype – things that can be taken for granted in New York but not in Rarotonga, not until today,” says Steve Collar, CEO of O3b Networks.

“With four more satellites finished and four more to launch later in the year, 2014 is the breakout year for O3b. There are so many places in the world that don’t have infrastructure conducive to 21st century communications.  In 2014, we will help to change that, starting with the Cook Islands.”