About two years back, Google made investments in O3b Networks, whose mission is to bring affordable, high-speed Internet access to emerging markets via satellite.
O3b today announced that it has secured its final funding round before service launch. The company has raised a total of US$ 1.2 billion from a group of investors and banks. This’ll see the company through to the launch of its first eight satellites in early 2013, which’ll provide low-latency, fiber-quality internet connectivity between developing markets and the global internet infrastructure.
O3b stands for the “other 3 billion” — nearly half the world’s population for whom Internet access is scarce and expensive. In remote and developing areas where fiber is unavailable, users rely on slow and often costly satellite connections. To help solve this problem, O3b is planning to launch a constellation of medium-orbit satellites, providing users across 150 countries with high-speed Internet connectivity. These satellites will be four times closer to Earth than regular geostationary satellites, meaning much faster speeds and a better experience for users.
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