[ Johannesburg, 27 November 2008 ] - O3B Networks, a Google-funded provider of satellite backbone infrastructure, will deploy backhaul infrastructure for Nigeria's Galaxy Wireless Communications and services for the country's Netcom Africa.
The multimillion-dollar deal with Galaxy, headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, requires that O3B supports its G-MAX Broadband service and provide IP connectivity and broadband wireless solutions on its WiMax network to the telecoms company.
Effectively, the company will deploy a backbone network with initial scalable bandwidth in excess of 2Gbps to serve fixed and mobile operators, enterprises and Internet service providers.
"The network is designed to provide an Internet backbone for Internet service providers and telcos in emerging markets. Service activation and ground equipment is scheduled for late 2010," says O3B Networks executive VP of sales and marketing John Finney.
The second services contract with Netcom Africa stipulates that Netcom will use O3B to provide high-bandwidth, low-latency IP services to and within Nigeria. "O3B's internally redundant fibre quality Internet backbone will allow us to provide lower latency and higher speeds to telcos, 3G/WiMax/ISP carriers," says Yen Choi, group executive VP and CTO of Netcom.
O3B Networks, along with Google, recently announced it will deploy the world's first ultra-low-latency, medium earth orbit (MEO), Ka-band, fibre-speed satellite network. The network is scheduled for late 2010.
The company seems to have made a significant turnaround from its initial solution, which was to use low-earth orbit satellites. These would have circled the earth at the equator, and European aerospace company Thales was to build the first.
However, the project met with severe scepticism, as several industry analysts and players questioned whether the project would work.
Roy Ingle, IT entrepreneur and former director of electronics group Altech, has noted that low-earth orbit satellite systems have been the single largest communications failure. "Funding to start up one of those systems has never been an issue. The problem is the technical challenges that a low earth orbit system has to overcome," he added.
Gartner principal analyst Will Hahn was also not sure that low-earth would have worked. It is unclear whether the two companies decided to migrate the project to MEO.
Source: STAFF WRITER , ITWEB , http://www.itweb.co.za
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