The O3b satellites lofted by Arianespace on Flight VS22 are the 58th, 59th, 60th and 61th satellites to be launched by Arianespace for the global satellite operator SES.
SES is the world-leading satellite-enabled service operator and is the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 16 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).
SES provides a diverse range of customers with global video distribution and data connectivity services through two business units: SES Video and SES Networks.
SES Video reaches over 351 million TV homes through Direct-to-Home (DTH) platforms and cable, terrestrial, and IPTV networks globally.
The SES Video portfolio includes MX1, a leading media service provider offering a full suite of innovative services for both linear and digital distribution; and the ASTRA satellite system, which has the largest DTH television reach in Europe.
SES Networks provides global managed data services, connecting people in a variety of sectors including telecommunications, maritime, aeronautical, and energy, as well as governments and institutions across the world.
The SES Networks portfolio includes GovSat, a 50/50 public-private partnership between SES and the Luxembourg government, and O3b, the only non-geostationary system delivering fiber-like broadband services today.
The four new Ka-band satellites will join SES’s existing constellation of O3b MEO satellites, orbiting at approximately 8,000 km. from Earth and serving customers based in almost 50 countries. They will improve connectivity capabilities, increase performance, and serve to seamlessly scale the existing O3b constellation. By increasing the size of the constellation from 16 to 20 satellites, SES Networks will offer enhanced coverage while providing greater service availability and reliability to cater for the increasing demand for bandwidth in government and in the telecommunication, cloud, maritime and energy markets.
The current O3b MEO constellation, in commercial service since September 2014, was orbited by Arianespace, utilizing its medium-lift Soyuz workhorse to carry four spacecraft each on launches that began in June 2013, and was followed by missions in July and December 2014 and more recently in March 2018.
In addition, Arianespace also has one SES geostationary satellite in its order book backlog.
The four O3b satellites will be the 156th to 159th satellites manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and its predecessors to be orbited by Arianespace, following the previously-launched 79 dedicated satellites and 72 constellation satellites, along with four auxiliary payloads.