SES to co-locate O3b mPower stations with Azure data centres
Satellite company SES has confirmed that it will be co-locating a number of the earth stations for its new range of satellites with Microsoft Azure data centres.
The deal means that data centres and their cloud customers will have a direct, high-speed connection to the SES’s new fleet of O3b mPower satellites, which should be in service by the middle of 2022.
Today’s announcement confirms an exclusive report in Capacity and Data Economy in April, when we said that four of the eight ground stations that will be used to manage O3b mPower will be co-located with Microsoft Azure data centres.
Today a spokeswoman for SES said she could not disclose which data centres would be connected to cloud services by what Microsoft is calling Microsoft Azure Orbital.
The news emerged at a presentation by SES and satellite maker Boeing of the features of the new O3b mPower satellite fleet. SpaceX will launch the first three around the end of 2021 and the second three “at some time in the first quarter of 2022”, said Jim Chilton, senior VP of Boeing Space & Launch.
Steve Collar (pictured), CEO of SES Satellites, said that the medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites will cover everywhere between 55° north and 55° south latitude, with coverage extended by SES’s existing geostationary satellites. “We can do inclined plane [orbits] at some future point,” he added. That would expand coverage to places north or south the 55° latitude limit.
Each of the six new O3b mPower satellites will have 5,000 independently steerable beams, compared with just ten beams in each of the existing O3b satellites. Each beam can carry from 50Mbps to “multiple gigabits a second”, said SES.
SES will also be seeking backhaul business from mobile operators, said Collar.