ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREASafety & Security, Education & Training

Objectives of the service

Image credit: SES, Project : SATMED

Key problems of the users are:

  • Humanitarian crisis, lack of security and socio-political instability

    • The SAHEL region and the SENO province in particular, suffer a remarkable deterioration of the security situation in the last 5 years. Jihadist attacks are killing hundreds and forcing tens of thousands to flee,

    • Burkina Faso has experience two military coups and three presidents have been appointed since early 2022.

  • Terrestrial networks are unreliable and tend to be congested

    • Government-imposed internet shutdowns are having a profound effect on the daily lives and human rights of millions of people,

    • Power outages are frequent.

  • Harsh working environment

    • Make difficult to retain qualified humanitarian staff locally, and attracting the arrival of new workforce.

The objectives are:

  • Supporting humanitarian actors to predict, respond and manage humanitarian crises,

  • Improving the working conditions of humanitarian personnel,

  • Supporting the emotional, psychological, social and economic well-being of displaced people and local communities

Users and their needs

User needs and requirements are based on inputs from the humanitarian actors in-the-field. Thus, are related to their daily activities in Dori, Burkina Faso:

  • The CPE needs to be small, easy-to-install and unobtrusive,

  • A dedicated, efficient, and fast connectivity service is required at the remote sites. This is a unique selling point against the congested, unreliable and slow network services,

  • Possibility to supervise the availability of the different network components, in order to promptly identify service outages.

Targeted End Users involved in the Pilot are:

  • NGOs,

  • Humanitarian organizations,

  • Institutions hosting humanitarian-related activities (e.g. local institutions such as schools, care centers for IDPs).

Service/ system concept

The O3b station at the remote site receives and transmits the signal from the O3b satellites in MEO orbit and converts it to IP traffic. The exit to the Internet happens at the O3b GW Teleport in Europe, which is connected to the global Internet network.
The bandwidth enabled by the O3b station is locally distributed by means of a point-to-multipoint base station (BTS). This BTS will be installed in a telecom tower nearby the O3b station.

The user premises will be equipped with a Wireless CPE receiver and a WiFi Access Point. The Wireless CPE receiver will be placed on a mast. As a rule of thumb and subject to no blockage by obstacles (e.g. trees), buildings equipped with a Wireless CPE in a radius of about 10km from the BTS shall be able to fetch the signal.

All what an end-user needs to access online the humanitarian applications and to surf the Internet is an IP device with WiFi capabilities (e.g. laptop, mobile phone). 

In a nutshell, the pilot system to be deployed will consist of the following elements: 

  • An O3b MEO station in Dori,

  • Wireless BTS on a telecom tower, 

  • The O3b Gateway in Europe,

  • Eleven (11) end-user sites – premises of the humanitarian actors – will be equipped with Wireless CPE, Access Points (APs) and a small solar kit.

Image credit: SES, Project : SENO

Space Added Value

The SES MEO satellites are located at 8062 km in the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and use Ka-Band spectrum for uplink and downlink connectivity.

The current O3b constellation uses 20 identical satellites. Each beam is 700 Km in diameter. These beams can be moved to any location within the coverage area.

The unique features of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) technology of SES are:

  • Low Latency leading to improved experience: The medium earth orbit position of the O3b satellites reduces the satellite round trip transmission time to less than 150 milliseconds as compared to a typical 540 millisecond round trip delay for a satellite in the Geostationary (GEO) orbit. Applications perform better as a result of O3b’s unique lower latency. Real-time applications like VPN, VoIP and other enterprise and government applications can be supported 

  • High Throughput: Each beam can support extraordinarily high throughputs up to 1,200 Mbps per beam 

  • Affordability and scalability: SES IP Transit Service (Internet) is highly competitive versus existing geosynchronous and inclined orbit satellite systems competing effectively against C band, Ku- and alternative Ka-band systems. The SES satellite constellation is also very scalable which offers the opportunity for affordable “room to grow” driven by market needs. 

  • Reduce downtime: No other satellite constellation can provide Network Services with full in-orbit redundancy, combined with a fully redundant ground network architecture

Following the success of the O3b service, SES has invested in the new generation of satellites and GW. The service known as O3b mPower will be gradually launched in Q4-2023 with a 6-spacecraft constellation, which will gradually grow up to 11 spacecraft by 2025 (coverage up to 52.5 degrees N/S latitude).

The project was Kick-Off on 13th of July 2023. 
The eleven (11) end-user sites have signed the letter of commitment in August 2023. The end-user requirements have also been collected. 
From Sept, 5 to Sept, 12 2023 an operational Proof-of-Concept will be carried out in Betzdorf. This activity is  performed in the framework of CDR milestone. 

Image credit : SES, project: mPower

Current Status

The project was Kick-Off on 13th of July 2023.

The eleven (11) end-user sites have signed the letter of commitment in August 2023. The end-user requirements have also been collected.

From Sept, 5 to Sept, 12 2023 an operational Proof-of-Concept will be carried out in Betzdorf. This activity is  performed in the framework of CDR milestone.

Image credit : SES, project: mPower

Prime Contractor(s)




Status Date

Updated: 28 January 2024