Satellite backhaul deal to bring 3G to rural Malaysia

Satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a backhaul deal that will allow Malaysia’s Maju Nusa to provide 3G services in rural and remote parts of the country.

The companies did not disclose details of the financial terms but describe the tie-up as a “multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal”.

That deal comes just days before O3b (St Helier, Jersey) is set to launch its next-generation satellite constellation and will provide “fiber-equivalent capacity” to Maju Nusa (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), according to O3b’s statement.

Satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a backhaul deal that will allow Malaysia’s Maju Nusa to provide 3G services in rural and remote parts of the country.

The companies did not disclose details of the financial terms but describe the tie-up as a “multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal”.

That deal comes just days before O3b (St Helier, Jersey) is set to launch its next-generation satellite constellation and will provide “fiber-equivalent capacity” to Maju Nusa (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), according to O3b’s statement.

O3b also claims to be the first satellite operator in the world to have enabled a 3G network deployment over satellite.

Supported by the Ministry of Communications, which is eager to see broadband services introduced in difficult-to-reach parts of the country, the arrangement will allow Maju Nusa to deploy mobile data services “significantly further into mobile operators’ networks”.

Maju Nusa describes itself as a managed solutions provider offering a range of broadband networking technologies, solutions and services, and is involved in several government initiatives to bring high-speed broadband and 3G services to rural Malaysia.

“Utilising the O3b network, Maju Nusa will be able to deliver 3G service to customers over satellite from 2014,” said Shahruddin Salehuddin, the managing director of Maju Nusa. “As well as helping us improve our service, O3b helps to reduce Capex costs, aggregating our existing 111 sites over Peninsular Malaysia into only 20 customer terminal locations.”

O3B says the deal marks it out as the first satellite operator enabling a significant 3G network deployment over satellite and will extend the reach of 3G beyond urban centers.

“This will bring 3G services to hundreds of thousands of people who until now have been without broadband connectivity,” said Steve Collar, the chief executive of O3b.

“O3b’s speed and affordability is a perfect complement to Maju Nusa’s innovative 3G network in delivering value to Malaysia’s mobile operators.”