The following information provides a comparison between O3b's equatorial medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation and MSCI’s Polar low earth orbit (LEO) COMMStellation™ based on information gathered on O3b's website and other O3b documentation made publically available over the Internet.

  1. MSCI’s polar COMMStellation™ will provide access to 100% of the world's population vs. O3b's estimate of "...providing access to approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population..."1

  2. When bandwidth available to the user is limited due to over-demand, COMMStellation™ will be a minimum of 5X faster than O3b's constellation with globally 10 times the capacity for each IOC constellation.

  3. The complete COMMStellation™ including 84 microsatellites (72 in service and 12 redundant), 35 ground stations (teleports) and launch will be significantly less cost per Gbps of delivered service.

  4. COMMStellation™ will include the launch of 12 redundant microsatellites. To date, O3b has made no mention of satellite redundancy in their constellation. Any satellite failure by O3b in the initial 8 spacecraft would leave a hole in the coverage resulting in approximately 12% constellation outage for all customers rotating throughout the day - in most cases an unacceptable loss to service providers

  5. The estimated 70% of the world's population covered by O3b's MEO constellation "Standard Service(s)"2 is focused on countries positioned within ±45° of latitude north and south of the equator. Countries positioned from ±45°-62° like the northern part of the US, Canada, Scandanavia Europe, northern China, Mongolia, Russia and the Poles will have "Limited Service(s)." 3 Countries located at greater than <62° latitude will have "No Service"4. COMMStellation™ will provide 100% coverage to all citizens of the earth. In addition, at COMMStellation™'s point of nominal satellite coverage overlap (the equator), COMMStellation™ will provide up to 5X the bandwidth of O3b's MEO constellation at full capacity. When the bandwidth of O3b's constellation begins to decrease beyond the ±45° of latitude, COMMStellation™ bandwidth actually increases as the microsatellite ground footprints converge and the data density per unit area increases.

  6. O3b's MEO constellation will orbit the earth at an "Orbital Height = ~8000 k,"5 vs. COMMStellation™ which will orbit the earth at approximately 1,000 kilometers. Like the beam of a flashlight, the closer to the ground it is, the more concentrated the light and the less area it covers. With 72 satellites providing 100% global coverage, each COMMStellation™ satellite can concentrate its data bandwidth on a smaller ground footprint. With individual satellite capability comparable to O3b's MEO satellite, COMMStellation™ satellites can provide over 5 times the bandwidth to users for a given geographic area. In areas where bandwidth is limited, this will mean over 5 times the speed for an individual user. This may mean the difference between watching a streaming movie or jumping freeze frame.

  7. COMMStellation™ microsatellites are significantly smaller in physical size than O3b's satellites which enable MSCI to get more microsatellites onto each rocket. MSCI plans to get 14 Microsatellites onto each rocket vs. O3b who will place 4 on each rocket. In addition, due to COMMStellation™'s lower orbit, the microsatellites don't need to travel as far into space. These two key features will mean that MSCI can use smaller more cost-effective launchers and use less fuel to get there.

  8. COMMStellation™ satellites will use green propellant for orbit maintenance and positioning, and will include a de-orbiting capability so that upon decommission, COMMStellation™ won’t add to space debris.

  9. The MSCI COMMStellation™ is so cost-effective to produce that redundancy is built in to ensure 99.9…% up-time. Adding redundant satellites in a MEO constellation to prevent unacceptable outages would require more than double the number of satellites initially and would most likely be cost-prohibitive.

  10. O3b's constellation will be accessible by more than 150 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East but will only provide limited or no service from beyond ±45° latitude. COMMStellation™ will reach the same 150 countries with at least 5 times the bandwidth density plus the rest of the world including huge markets such as the northern part of the US, Canada, Europe, Scandanavia, northern China, Mongolia and Russia without any signal loss.


  1. O3b Networks raises total funding of US$1.2 billion (
  2. O3B Networks - Connecting the other 3 billion brochure (Page 10_11 - Service Coverage(
  3. O3B Networks - Connecting the other 3 billion brochure (Page 10_11 - Service Coverage(
  4. O3B Networks - Connecting the other 3 billion brochure (Page 10_11 - Service Coverage(
  5. O3B Networks - Connecting the other 3 billion brochure (Page 10_11 - In orbit(


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