Mourant Ozannes advises Jersey-based O3b on satellite network launch

Mourant Ozannes has advised Jersey-based O3b on the launch of a satellite network that will bring fibre-quality broadband communications to three billion ‘disconnected’ people.

O3b launched the first of eight satellites from French Guiana just before 19:00 on 25 June. The project will establish a ring of satellites 8,000km above the equator that will bring modern internet connectivity to billions of people around the world.

The company has raised more than $1bn (£650m) to fund the project and has been advised exclusively in Jersey by Mourant Ozannes since it was formed. Backing has been secured by O3b from companies including Google, HSBC and satellite communications company SES.

The satellites are being built by Thales Alenia Space at a facility in France and should be fully operational in orbit by the beginning of 2014. It is anticipated that up to 20 satellites could eventually be used in the network.

O3b is also building three ground stations, or teleports, that will track the satellites and relay the signals to global networks. By establishing the satellite constellation in a middle-Earth orbit of 8,000km above the earth, O3b can achieve a signal speed of 100 milliseconds, compared with the 600 milliseconds experienced when connecting via traditional geostationary satellites that orbit at 36,000km.