ORBCOMM Inc. today announced that it has successfully launched six new satellites, which are expected to begin supporting M2M messaging and AIS services within the next 60 days. According to a statement issued by ORBCOMM in April, the launch of the six OG2 satellites was initially expected on May 10.
The next generation OG2 satellites were delivered via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which took off today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
“The successful launch of the first OG2 mission is a testament to the entire OG2 team at ORBCOMM, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Boeing, and Moog, and I’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication,” said ORBCOMM CEO, Marc Eisenberg. “OG2 will enable our customers to send and receive more data, with greater speed, more efficiently than ever before.”
ORBCOMM anticipates launching another eleven OG2 satellites and enhanced OG2 services in the fourth quarter of 2014 to complete the constellation.
These new satellites, which ORBCOMM says will drastically increase network capacity, will enable faster message delivery, larger message sizes, and better coverage at higher latitudes.
“Launching our first OG2 mission is an important milestone in advancing our global satellite network to a higher level of performance, coverage and efficiency,” said Eisenberg in April. “Our customers are looking forward to our new constellation, which will enhance their M2M applications, as well as new partnerships in the multiple additional markets for which OG2 is well suited.”
ORBCOMM customers include Caterpillar Inc., Doosan Infracore America, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Hyundai Heavy Industries, I.D. Systems, Inc., Komatsu Ltd., Cartrack (Pty.) Ltd., and Volvo Construction Equipment, among others.
As discussed in the July/August issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY, satellite has recently become a hot area of wireless expansion. Google in June purchased Skybox Imaging for $500 million. Meanwhile, several of the satellite network operators have been investing richly recently to expand their capabilities.
“If it is broadband/communications Ka-band and O3b, for M2M, Iridium and ORBCOMM are both putting in new satellite networks, with Iridium also supporting voice services and some broadband,” says TMCnet satellite reporter Doug Mohney.
“Globalstar has a new set of satellites up, they do all the SPOT stuff and also cheap sat phones. They’re literally giving away sat phones to promote the voice service, depending on what contract you want. For non-Internet telephony, but still cool and [with] big data, Planet Labs is going to put up over 100 breadbox satellites to do Earth imaging at 3- to 5-meter resolution. We’ll be able to watch the polar icecaps melt in near real time.”
Edited by Adam Brandt