SES announced Microsoft as the first cloud provider customer for its next-generation medium earth orbit (MEO) system – O3b mPOWER. Microsoft plans to leverage the MEO high-performance connectivity services to showcase its Azure Orbital solutions that integrate satellite connectivity with Azure services. Microsoft will use SES’s current MEO to provide connectivity now before migrating to O3b mPOWER next year.
SES’s current O3b and upcoming O3b mPOWER systems operate in the medium earth orbit, around 8,000 km above earth’s surface. When fully operational in 2022, O3b mPOWER will deliver an unprecedented increase of flexibility and throughput speed and capacity to any Azure Network locations on earth.
“Utilising SES' medium earth orbit system enhances the power of Azure Orbital and enables us to deliver greater resiliency and comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions for our customers,” said William Chappell, Vice President of Azure Global, Microsoft. “Our collaboration with SES is key to delivering on our vision of multi-orbit, cloud-enabled capability to meet critical industry needs.”
“Microsoft deploying our ground-breaking O3b mPOWER system is yet another step in our collaboration to bring high-performance, low latency Azure cloud services to customers around the globe,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks. “O3b mPOWER will introduce new levels of cloud-scale satellite connectivity, intelligent automation and managed services that extend the reach and unleash the capabilities of cloud players like never before.”
Microsoft’s plans to deploy O3b mPOWER at Azure Network locations is another step in the close collaboration between the two companies. SES is co-locating four of its O3b mPOWER gateways at or near Azure data centres; is the founding medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite connectivity partner for Microsoft Azure Orbital; is an Azure ExpressRoute for satellite partner; and is the first satellite operator to implement Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) using NFV technology on Azure.
Gaining momentum with O3b mPOWER
As the O3b mPOWER launch approaches later this year, the system continues to gain traction with customers across geographies and market segments. In addition to Microsoft Azure as the first cloud provider, other O3b mPOWER customers include Orange for enhanced enterprise and mobile networks, and major mega cruise operators such as Carnival and Virgin Voyages.