O3b Networks Delivers Fiber-like Connectivity to Africa Cup of Nations Matches in Gabon in Record Time
O3b Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of SES, today announced the company’s high performance satellite-enabled network transformed the match-day experience for tens of thousands of football fans during the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations. The O3b service was deployed in the northernmost stadium hosting matches, the Stade d'Oyem facility in Oyem, Gabon.
The stadium was built to provide a venue for the regional population, but did not have access to a fiber connection, and was without broadband internet just before the first match. A high throughput broadband link was necessary for international transmission of the game, and was also required by journalists covering the match. Before the first kickoff, however, event organisers delivered an equal internet experience to other match locations for everyone at the stadium—from fans to workers to journalists—by deploying connectivity from O3b Networks, the only company able to provide low latency, high throughput internet in hard to reach places.
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations was the 31st Africa Cup of Nations event, organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and held in 4 stadiums across the nation of Gabon. The Oyem stadium has capacity for 20,500 attendees for each match, and was purpose-built for the 2017 tournament. As the venue was to host massive crowds, but lacked adequate internet connectivity, it was the perfect first deployment for O3bFastConnect in Africa, rapidly bringing high-performance connectivity to any remote spot. Within a couple of days after the last match, the O3bFastConnect terminal had been relocated to Libreville, providing connectivity to another area of the country.
O3b is a satellite-based global network, but the company’s satellites are much closer to the earth than traditional geostationary (GEO) satellites, greatly reducing latency which improves internet performance and the Quality of Experience (QoE) for end users. Because of the upload and download speed capabilities of the O3b network—far outstripping the abilities of other satellite-based networks—internet and mobile data performance rivals the throughput and latency of long-haul fiber, while avoiding the high costs and long timeframes of laying fiber cables across difficult terrain.
With first-rate internet connectivity, event attendees were able to share photos and videos, watch replays from around the tournament, and use social media to participate in a variety of activities. Even with all of the digital activity in and around the stadium, at its peak only 77% of available capacity was being used, meaning attendees had no worries about running out of available bandwidth. And while internet traffic typically skews heavily towards downloads, fans and journalists alike took advantage of O3b’s unrivalled upstream performance, uploading and sharing content at a much higher rate than they downloaded.
“Proving O3b’s ability to deliver and execute an occasional use deployment means we can offer our fiber-like connectivity in other situations as required,” said Carole Kamaitha, VP of Africa for O3b Networks. “The performance of the internet for fans attending these games was absolutely stellar, and made the entire experience better for all of the fans.”
About O3b Networks Limited
O3b Networks Ltd. is a provider of global managed communication services and operates both a state-of-the-art fleet of high throughput, low latency satellites and a global terrestrial infrastructure. O3b delivers carrier-grade Data Networking Solutions to ISPs, telcos, mobile network operators, governments and enterprises in the most remote and inaccessible places on the planet. O3b Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG).
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