O3b Satellite Broadband — Google Cell Play?

Autonomous Internet

O3b Networks delivers broadband connectivity everywhere on Earth within 45 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator.

Our vast coverage area includes emerging and insufficiently connected markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, with a collective population of over 3 billion people.

Home Page (About)

SatMagazine 2010 Year In Review on O3b

O3b Networks: A far-out plan to deliver the Web (CSM)

Africa, Web Access: What Google’s Doing Right (ABC)

Phi Beta Iota: The coverage is potentially Earth-changing.  There is smart money behind this outfit, and there is Google.  This could be Google’s play to capture the three billion poor with a monopoly on cell phones and solar-powered Internet hubs.  It could also be Allen & Company‘s play to get a lock–proprietary access to the aggregate cloud, one step ahead of Goldman Sachs, with built-in latency.  Learn more about Google as a predatory threat (Wal-Mart in cyber-space):  The Google Trilogy.  Google is a totally impressive math-crunch on data funded by fantasy cash.  If  and when the US and global economies melt down completely, Google will be broke.   Google is pushing the cloud because right now Google not only does not have access to 90% of the relevant information (most of it analog or offline), but it also wants to be able to show searchers what someone else has paid to have shown.  Google has refused since its inception to be serious about analytics and sense-making and human-centered information-sharing– nor is Allen & Company at all interested in “true cost” information and holistic analytics that would put industrial era capitalism out of business while empowering bottom-up community and social capitalism.  So, now that we have seen that the US Government is incapable of honest regulatory oversight, the question arises: who and how will these people be kept honest?  Or more to the point, is now the time when We the Collective outspend financial manipulators to achieve sustainable integrity for the three billion new billionaires?  This is not to say that O3b is bad–it could be the salvation of the planet that leads directly to the creation of infinite wealth and therefore a prosperous planet at peace–but all those associated with O3b are “old capitalists” not “new social media” spirits, and our reservations can therefore be understood as respectful but well-founded.

General References

IP Access International

2011 Plans for LEO constellation of 78 communications satellites announced

2011 Nano-satellite scheme to predict natural disasters (5M each vs. $100M)

2010 Teal Group Forecasts 38% Growth in LEO Satellites for 2010-2014

2010 Coverage ‘at risk’ U.S. makes contingency plans to maintain satellite communications in remote regions

1998 Emerging Commercial Satellite Review

1995 Commercial SATCOM Review


The Un-Internet World Today

Wikipedia Pages

List of countries by number of Internet users

Internet VSAT access via satellite: Costs

Very substantial price reduction per VSAT is possible if the bandwidth is shared, typically with contention ratios of 1:5 to 1:100, giving an average bit rate per VSAT terminals of 10kbit/s down and 2.5kbit/s up, giving prices like:

1000k/250k link will cost $175 per month (shared, contention ratio 1:50)
100k/25k link will cost $87.5 per month (shared, contention ratio 1:5)

Very small aperture terminal

National broadband plans from around the world

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WIMAX)

Wireless mesh network

Wireless Distribution System

Broadband Internet access