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Digicel Pacific increases O3b capacity from SES across Papua New Guinea

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Digicel Pacific is bolstering its coverage in Papua New Guinea using SES’s O3b medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellite system.

The expansion of connectivity comes following damage to the international Pipe Pacific Cable (PPC) which typically connects Papua New Guinea to Australia with onward global connectivity.

The additional O3b services will support Digicel Pacific maintain connectivity during outages caused by cable breaks while also expanding coverage across the remote parts of the country.

“Unfortunately, we have seen more frequent and intense natural disasters occurring in the Pacific Islands over the last decade, which is why safeguarding networks and providing network resilience is more critical than ever,” said John Turnbull, director of fixed data, Pacific at SES.

“SES and Digicel Pacific are committing to connect residents in Papua New Guinea with the high-performance and most reliable connectivity needed to accelerate restoration efforts. With O3b mPOWER, we can further leverage the system’s future-proof scalability and guaranteed performance to achieve an even higher level of network resilience and safety.”

The news follows a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in September in the South Pacific Island that caused damage to multiple cable systems, resulting in large disruption to data services across most of the country.

During the crisis SES supported Digicel Pacific with emergency bandwidth, providing an increase of 40% in high-performance as well as an incremental 3Gbps of capacity and additional ground equipment to enable Digicel Pacific to restore its network connectivity and critical communications services.

“We are grateful for SES’s swift response in provisioning additional capacity to enable us to plug urgent and unprecedented connectivity gaps. Our partnership with SES has been critical to not just disaster relief efforts in Papua New Guinea, but in connecting remote populations across the Pacific region," said Colin Stone, chief executive officer at Digicel PNG.

"We have had a long relationship with SES, who understands the region and steps up to support Pacific nations in times of need, connecting the otherwise unconnected people in the region. We look forward to exploring the enhanced capabilities of SES’s O3b mPOWER satellite system to fortify network connections thus minimising network disruptions in the event of future disasters.”