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O3b Launches Four More Satellites To Bring Internet To 'Other 3 Billion' 80

An anonymous reader writes "O3b Networks is aiming to provide internet access through satellite, to the "other three billion" people in under-served equatorial regions (Africa, the Pacific, South America). O3b launched four more satellites [Thursday], to add to the four they already have in orbit. This is a very international effort; a Russian Soyuz rocket went up from South America, carrying satellites built in France. There's a video of the rocket and payloads coming together and a video of the rocket launch. There's also an academic paper describing using the O3b system from the Cook Islands in the Pacific, giving an idea of what it does and those all-important ping times."
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O3b Launches Four More Satellites To Bring Internet To 'Other 3 Billion'

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  • Re:motive? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bjwest ( 14070 ) on Friday July 11, 2014 @10:30PM (#47436241)
    Like all corporate endeavorers, the motive is money. In a year or so when O3b files for bankruptcy, one of the big three (Comcast, AT&T or Verizon) will buy up the infrastructure for pennies on the dollar. The built out fees get eliminated in the bankruptcy, and then the profits start rolling in, just as planed.
  • Re:motive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Friday July 11, 2014 @11:31PM (#47436439)

    These aren't exaclty lucrative potential customers...
    Who's paying for this and why?

    Cruise ships. Especially in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea. Two years from now, fast and semi-affordable shipboard internet will be a selling point and competitive advantage. Five years from now, it will be something every ship needs just to be taken seriously.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Friday July 11, 2014 @11:37PM (#47436451)

    and you want them to get the Internet

    Substitute "books" or a video of "how to get clean water with scrapped parts" for that last word and you'll see what the big deal is.

    If you can't get in their shoes think of Hurricane Katrina and how the big deal in the aftermath is the lack of communications that resulted in food rotting when there were plenty of hungry people but the communications to direct the supply efforts were not there.

    How about you invest that money in getting rid of local warlords

    By investing the money in giving people the ability to talk about how to get rid of local warlords without having to gather in a public place and get hacked to death by machettes - something like this internet thing perhaps?

  • by pavera ( 320634 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @02:28AM (#47436791) Homepage Journal

    From rtfs, it seems o3b is aimed at the ISP market. I think this could be quite neat, they are aiming at being a backbone provider for say a local wireless ISP on a tropical island, this ISP sets up their terrestrial wifi equipment, and sets up a link to o3b for backhaul.

    This could transform the competitive landscape in a lot of these places where either a) becoming an ISP means signing a multi-thousands/mo deal with the 1 company that has pulled fiber under the sea for thousands of miles, or b) having no option, because the terrestrial land lines are all owned by the government run telco who has no interest in providing an upstart with bandwidth

    Of course, for this utopia of competition to break out, it assumes that o3b will be charging significantly less than whoever has pulled fiber under the sea, and that government regulation in all these countries doesn't simply preclude the business model by granting unlimited monopoly power to the government run telco. I know in the 2 south american countries I've visited this second hurdle is much larger than the first... The government owns the telco, thats the only way to get internet, period.

    But assuming I'm wrong about the regulatory landscape, and assuming o3b will have reasonable pricing, it almost becomes interesting to attempt to setup a wifi based ISP in some underserved country...

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"