Microsoft has partnered with satellite operator SES to become the first cloud services customer for the upcoming O3b mPOWER medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite network.
Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will use SES’s current MEO connectivity to provide connectivity now before migrating to O3b mPOWER when it goes fully operational in 2022.
In addition to Microsoft Azure as the first cloud provider, other O3b mPOWER parterns already signed up include Orange for enterprise and mobile networks, and major cruise operators such as Carnival and Virgin Voyages.
Microsoft plans to deploy the connectivity to demonstrate the capabilities of its Azure Orbital offering, used to integrate satellite connectivity with Azure services.
“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.”
SES is co-locating four of its O3b mPOWER gateways at or near Azure data centres and is the first satellite operator to implement Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) using NFV (network function virtualization) technology on Azure.
“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.”