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SES to expand O3b mPOWER capabilities with dynamic ARC solution

SES partners with Kythera Space Solutions to develop a software system to dynamically synchronise space and ground resources, utilising real-time data to optimise network services and deliver premium user experiences with maximum efficiency.

SES has announced that its Adaptive Resource Control (ARC), a dynamic software solution, is under development in partnership with Kythera Space Solutions. This system will further enhance the flexibility and efficiency of O3b mPOWER, SES’s next-generation medium earth orbit (MEO) communications system. ARC will enable the dynamic control and optimisation of power, throughput, beams and frequency allocation across the entire O3b mPOWER system’s space and ground assets, resulting in the efficient delivery of low-latency, satellite-based data services with a superior end-user experience.

ARC will reportedly deliver unprecedented levels of automation and adaptability for telco, government, and communications-on-the-move customers, enabling predictable, reliable services delivered over O3b mPOWER. ARC uses standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs) for easy integration into SES’s service orchestration solution based on Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). ARC and ONAP work together as a unified service delivery and optimisation solution, with ARC managing the physical network resources allocated to services orchestrated end-to-end by ONAP.

SES’s high-throughput low-latency O3b mPOWER communications system, scheduled to launch in 2021, will leverage seven next-generation MEO satellites, each capable of generating thousands of electronically-steered beams that can be dynamically adjusted to suit customer demand and geographic position. O3b mPOWER also will include a variety of intelligent, application-specific Customer Edge Terminals integrated with SES’s terrestrial network. SES will leverage ARC to efficiently synchronise, optimise and automate the utilisation of these space and ground assets – seamlessly integrating satellite with terrestrial networks.

As the newest technology partner in the O3b mPOWER ecosystem, Kythera, a leading provider of dynamic management systems for next-generation satellite payloads and networks, is working with SES to develop ARC as an entirely new paradigm for communications services delivered via high-throughput satellites. ARC’s ability to capture and utilise real-time data from Customer Edge Terminals means that end-user requirements can be instantly aligned with space- and ground-based network resources. Together with O3b mPOWER’s dynamic network and user terminals, it will further boost the next-generation system’s flexibility and network efficiency when it launches in 2021.

SES’ current O3b constellation has been operational since 2013 and is delivering fibre- equivalent connectivity services to customers operating in nearly 50 countries today.

In addition to O3b mPOWER, SES also will implement ARC on its SES-17 high-throughput satellite. The geostationary satellite, which will be launched in 2021, is dedicated to providing services for the aeronautical, maritime and fixed and mobile broadband markets across the Americas with its 200 spot beams.

“Next-generation satellites such as SES’ O3b mPOWER and SES-17 have sophisticated on-board processors that offer tremendous new value in the form of flexible service and superior performance. The solution we are working on with SES is about unlocking that value,” said Dr. Jeffrey Freedman, CEO of Kythera. “We are proud to be able to leverage our 10-year heritage of developing satellite resource management and optimisation software to co-develop the industry’s most advanced software solution for SES’s O3b mPOWER and SES-17 satellites.”

Stewart Executive Vice President of Technology at SES and O3b mPOWER Programme Manager added: “For satellites to play a key role in the cloud-scale connectivity ecosystem, we have to make sure our satellite network offers maximum agility and adaptivity to real-time changes. This is the heart of our network modernisation strategy and the reason why we are co-developing and implementing ARC. In choosing Kythera as the latest technology partner in the O3b mPOWER ecosystem, SES is laying down a key building block in the realisation of that strategy – the ability to fully integrate the power of our space resources with the latest network software innovation.”