Our Telekom has announced the introduction of high speed, low latency Internet services to Honiara.
The company said it had installed a new ground station for the O3b Network’s medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite service at Henderson, becoming the 11th operator in the Pacific region to implement this ground breaking technology.
“Operating at a far lower altitude than the current geostationary satellites, the O3b service guarantees a latency of less than 15Oms, which will make the customer experience very similar to fibre,” the company said in a statement.
“In fact, this solution has been described as ‘Fibre from the Sky’ by its users around the world,” the statement added.
Chief Executive Loyley Ngira said the launch of O3b for Our Telekom Internet is the most significant development for the Solomon Islands since the introduction of the internet here.
“With O3b we have taken the first significant step to overcome the tyranny of distance between the Pacific nations and the rest of the World,” Ngira said.
“With this technology and the other strategic investments planned our aim is to transform the lives of all Solomon Islanders with fast and cost effective internet access for health, education, business and leisure,” he added.
Ngira said the launch of O3b is the first step in a comprehensive strategic investment by Our Telekom in Internet across the Solomon Islands which will include the SOCC submarine cable, made accessible to the highly populated provinces of Guadalcanal, Western, and Malaita via a new microwave fixed network currently under construction.
He added the satellite commitments made with O3b will allow Our Telekom to provide near equivalent performance from all Provincial centres over time and offer low cost domestic grade internet services to any part of these Islands.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Keir Preedy explains what customers in Honiara can expect.
“Over the coming weekend, all of Our Telekom fixed Internet services, both Business Grade Internet and ADSL services that transit from Honiara, will be migrated onto the O3b satellite service.
“Our Telekom expect users to notice a step change to their internet services when business begins on Monday.
“We have more bandwidth on the O3b satellite than all our existing satellite services combined and with the new low latency service, not only will business VPN services abroad be dramatically improved so will interactive video services such as Skype video.”
“As Loyley mentioned, the long term investment strategy is aimed at bringing fast high quality services at affordable prices to all corners of the Solomon Islands.
“We will be using mobile and fixed networks to deliver the internet experience.
“The O3b service is being deployed in Honiara as an interim measure for the next two years while the SOCC submarine cable project is undertaken.
“When it is operational we can move all services across to it without any customer disruption.
“The O3b ground station technology will evolve over that time to a simpler design that is easy to deploy in our Provincial centres and it is our intention then to build ground stations at Lata, KiraKira and Taro.
“Buala and southern Isabel will be connected directly to the submarine fibre service via extension of the microwave system covering Guadalacanal, Malaita and Central Provinces.
“We are projecting that this fast O3B internet connection will make Solomon Islands based businesses very competitive.”
“Our Telekom would also like to apologise to our internet customers for the recent degradation in performance.
“This was due to the consolidation of our existing satellite bandwidth in preparation for the O3b launch.
“Internet services have been hampered in the past by the limited bandwidth and high cost of geostationary satellite services which made it impossible to deliver affordable internet solutions that could meet the fast growing needs of business.
“The pending submarine cable project has always made it difficult for Our Telekom to place long term commitments with those providers.
“The O3b service has a long term strategic place in Our Telekom and we are delighted to deploy it first in Honiara to bridge the gap to the cable deployment.”