The case for MEO-backhaul technology

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Mobile operators are facing a plethora of challenges to maintain the high levels of profitability they are accustomed to. Issues including increased regulation, heightened competition from the traditional mobile value chain and new competitors are starting to seriously test operators. Mobile operators are now turning to rural, unconnected areas to continue increasing their subscriber base as new technologies become available.

One of the technologies that are evolving is backhaul, which was previously expensive to roll out in rural areas, using either microwave or through Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) Satellites. A new Medium-Earth-Orbit (MEO) constellation now being launched by O3b is expected to be a more suitable technology for rural backhaul since it is more cost effective and is well positioned for data services.


O3b’s MEO-backhaul technology offers both lower latency and lower costs, making the business case for mobile services in rural areas more positive for mobile operators.  Even if pushed by regulation, the business case driven by MEO satellite backhaul can provide organic growth opportunities for operators in many markets where a terrestrial or GEO backhaul did not provide a positive business case.

Information from this blog was taken from the Informa Telecoms and Media Whitepaper, to download the full white paper visit

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