Cuban satellite connectivity…

Cuban satellite connectivity — today and (maybe?) tomorrow

 By Larry Press

Last January, Doug Madory of Dyn Research reported on Cuban traffic, noting that C&W’s share had increased:

Yesterday Madory reported that ETECSA had activated a new internet transit provider, medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellite-connectivity provider O3b Networks (Other 3 billion), replacing geostationary satellite provider Intelsat:

(They have also added Telecom Italia, which, until 2011, owned 11% of ETECSA, but I will save that for another post).

O3b’s MEO satellites orbit at an altitude of around 8,012 km above the equator while Intelsat’s geosynchronous satellites are at around 35,786 km, therefore the time for a data packet to travel from earth to an O3b satellite and back to Earth is significantly less than to an Intelsat satellite. This move to O3b may be related to ETECSA’s recent decision to offer SMS messaging service to the US (at an exorbitant price) and it will surely improve the speed of interactive applications.

That is today’s situation as I understand it, but now I want to speculate on the future of Cuban satellite connectivity — say in the early 2020s.

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