Optimal Satcom Capacity Management Partnership Opens Doors for O3b

[Satellite TODAY Insider 06-16-12] O3b Networks has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Optimal Satcom, which will provide enhanced enterprise capacity management systems supporting high-throughput Ka-band satellites in medium-Earth orbit (MEO) to O3b and its customers, Optimal Satcom announced June 14.

   Optimal Satcom said it would integrate the Ka-band-modeled enterprise capacity management with O3b’s other operational and business systems, while developing an enhanced set of tools for use by O3b’s customers, including a special ECM O3b module for service providers.
Optimal Satcom President and CEO Ahsun Murad said he expects all systems would be ready well before O3b commences commercial operation in 2013.
   “The O3b system is one of the most innovative satellite systems to enter the communications satellite arena. Its MEO configuration with low latency and the ability to seamlessly add additional capacity by deploying additional satellites are distinct advantages, but its greatest strength, and ultimately, the real key to its success, may be that it can be made to fit quite well into the traditional proven business models for GEO satellite capacity,” Murad said in a statement.
   Optimal Satcom Co-founder and CTO Rebecca Fahrmeier explained that because the O3b satellites operate nearer to the Earth than GEO satellites, the latency reduction provided by her company’s enhanced systems would deliver significant benefits. The system also would allow telcos, Internet service providers and other applications that were previously incompatible with satellite to use O3b services.
   “Our challenge is to enhance ECM to model the O3b network in such a way that all the computational complexities of planning and managing a dynamic non-GEO system are under the hood, and users are presented with a familiar interface where they can continue to plan and manage their O3b capacity in essentially the same way that they would work with a conventional GEO system,” said Fahrmeier.
   O3b plans to launch its first eight Ka-band satellites in the first half of 2013. It will launch another four spacecraft by the end of 2014, providing global broadband coverage to emerging markets in an area between 45 degrees north and 45 degrees south latitude.
   “With ECM we have chosen a proven platform which many of the world’s largest satellite service providers, including some O3b contracted customers, already used to manage their satellite services. This makes it easy for them to migrate to and enhance their services using the O3b satellite network without changing their operational management tools and associated business processes,” O3b Networks Vice President of Sales Engineering and Customer Fulfillment David Price said in a statement.

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