SES Selects Arianespace to Launch O3b Satellites

Arianespace’s Soyuz lifts off from the Spaceport’s ELS launch facility during the daytime launch with four more connectivity satellites for O3b Networks. (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (Arianespac PR) — SES has selected Arianespace for its fifth launch of four O3b satellites joining the O3b Medium Earth Orbit fleet. The mission on a Soyuz rocket will be conducted from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, in 2019.

The twelve satellites of the existing O3b fleet were orbited by Arianespace in 2013 and 2014; the next four satellites (13th to 16th) will be launched by Arianespace next year. The O3b fleet delivers low-latency data services provided by SES Networks, a unit of SES.

The 20 O3b satellites that SES Networks positions and operates in the Medium Earth Orbit, nearly 8,000 kilometers above the Earth, form the first strong building block of a unique high-power, high-throughput fleet. Built by Thales Alenia Space, they have a mass of approximately 700 kilogram at liftoff and each provide a capacity of more than 10 Gigabits per second.

“We are pleased that we can rely on proven partners to develop our O3b fleet”, said Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks. “As the only MEO constellation in the world, the O3b fleet is a cornerstone of our strategy to serve fast-growing data markets with high-performance, fibre-equivalent connectivity virtually anywhere. Our commitment to Arianespace also underscores that SES continues to play a major role for the European space industry.”

Following the signing of this contract, Stéphane Israël, Arianespace’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I would like to thank SES for having chosen Arianespace a fifth time for the deployment of its broadband telecommunications network. Entrusting Arianespace with the launch of four additional O3b satellites is a true recognition of the reliability and the excellence of our launch service solutions. With this contract, we are proud to contribute to the extension of the O3b constellation, thus taking a step further in advancing world broadband connectivity with satellites and reducing the digital divide. More than ever, Arianespace is living up to its moto of ‘using space for a better life on Earth’.”

SES Networks, a provider of global managed data services, is a new SES business unit comprised of the former O3b Networks and SES data business. With the only network solutions powered by the O3b fleet of MEO satellites, together with the reach of more than 50 GEO satellites, SES Networks enables high-performance communications for fixed data, mobility and government customers virtually anywhere.
About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 550 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.