RigNet And O3b Networks Close Offshore Deal To Bring Low Latency Connectivity To The Gulf Of Mexico

ST. HELIER, Jersey, U.K. -- RigNet, Inc., a leading global provider of remote managed offshore communications solutions, telecoms systems integration services and collaborative applications to the oil and gas industry, today announced that it has signed an agreement with O3b Networks to bring high capacity, low latency connectivity to operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

This agreement marks a major breakthrough in providing mission critical connectivity to the offshore market through the deployment of O3bEnergy, O3b’s high-performance service specifically designed to meet the needs of offshore and remote site energy operators. The deal will enable significant improvements in productivity, operating efficiencies and safety for RigNet’s customer.

“This new relationship between O3b and RigNet will bring exciting change to the Gulf of Mexico and the entire oil and gas industry,” said Mark Slaughter, CEO, RigNet, Inc. “Because of the technology we will be deploying, deep water platforms will be served reliably through what is, essentially, fibre in the sky.”

An alternative to laying expensive fibre cables or high-latency geostationary satellite connectivity, O3bEnergy provides heritage technology used in an innovative way with Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. MEO satellites orbit much closer to the earth than traditional satellite providing much lower latency for better performance.

This solution brings lower cost, faster connectivity that allows offshore crews to use thin-clients for cloud applications that were difficult to impossible to use with high latency traditional geostationary satellite connections.

Steerable spot beams mean any platform can be connected quickly, and the capacity can be moved or increased depending on the needs of the customer’s facilities. O3b’s solution also helps to future proof network build outs for oil energy providers, offering unlimited scalability.

“In the past, getting low-latency, high capacity and affordable connectivity into offshore environments has been quite a challenge for energy operators,” said Simon Maher, vice-president, Enterprise, O3b Networks. “Not only will O3bEnergy support critical voice communications and operational control systems, it will also provide improved data capabilities that will boost morale of offshore workers to help them stay connected socially, as well.”

O3b Networks Limited is a global satellite service provider operating a next-generation satellite network for telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, enterprise and government customers in emerging markets. The O3b system combines the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fibre optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity. O3b Networks’ investors include SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart. O3b Networks is headquartered in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.

RigNet is a leading global provider of digital technology solutions to the oil and gas industry, focusing on serving offshore and onshore drilling rigs, energy production facilities and energy maritime vessels. RigNet provides solutions ranging from fully-managed voice and data networks to more advanced applications that include video conferencing and real-time data services to more than 1,100 remote sites in over 50 countries on six continents, effectively spanning the drilling and production industry. RigNet is based in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.rig.net.


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