Upstart satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a multiyear, multi-million dollar capacity agreement with managed satellite service provider Sky Fiber to resell O3b services.
Under the deal, Sky Fiber will be able to use capacity on O3b’s upcoming medium-earthorbit (MEO) satellite fleet to provide turnkey mobile/wireless backhaul, IP trunking and oil & gas solutions to its customers in Southeast Asia.
Sky Fiber chief executive Tom van der Heyden said the deal would help the company fill the “vacuum” in the mobile backhaul space as demand for mobile internet in Southeast Asia grows.
The O3b deal also potentially gives Sky Fiber a competitive advantage in the offshore oil and gas facilities space, chiefly through O3b’s main selling points – vast amounts of IP capacity and better latency via the constellation’s lower orbit.
The deal is also O3b’s third contract in the Asia-Pacific market following a capacity deal with Telecom Cook Islands a year ago, and Pakistan’s Pak Datacom in September 2010.
O3b – which plans to bring wholesale fiber-speed IP backbone connectivity to underserved and unserved markets worldwide when its eight Kaband satellites are launched by 2013, and counts SES, HSBC and Google among its marquee investors – has been focusing chiefly on the Africa market in terms of striking capacity deals.
CEO Steve Collar said that 80% of its planned capacity over Africa has already been sold.
However, he added that Asia remains a key market for O3b. “Our name refers to the ‘other 3 billion’ people that don’t yet have access to broadband internet, and two billion of that three billion are in this part of the world,” he said. “So bringing high-speed, low-latency bandwidth to this market is very interesting to us.”
Sky Fiber booth: 1V2-01