Start-up satellite broadband provider O3b Networks expects to unveil an initial pricing plan for Pacific islands next week.  Greg Wyler, CEO, plans to announce a megabit-per-second pricing structure for Pacific Island countries at a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union from Feb 17-20, in Tonga:

Mr Wyler said the company’s preliminary assessment is that an island would pay around US$600 per megabit per second of throughput, plus an initial activation fee for the ground equipment of about US$350,000, for orders placed by May 2009. (Source: Pacnews)

I had the good fortune to see Greg Wyler, CEO of O3b, speak at PTC ’09.  He described O3b’s plan for the Pacific Islands and it sounded pretty awesome as anyone addressing the needs of the Pacific Islands, is instantly my hero.

Greg Wyler at PTC '09

Greg Wyler at PTC '09 in Honolulu

O3b arrives on the scene just as other satellite companies like Intelsat are raising prices in the Pacific claiming the only alternative is stopping service to the islands.

Any news from O3b is good news for the Pacific islands.  Here’s some details on the satellites and the scheduled 2010 launch:

… based in the British tax haven Jersey Channel Islands, has contracted with manufacturer Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy to build an initial eight 700-kilogram O3b satellites to be launched together in late 2010 aboard a Sea Launch Co. rocket.

Launching satellites is no small task and there have been several quite prominent failures at what O3b is attempting to accomplish.  With the way technology is becoming so widespread in the world, the timing could be right for O3b.

We can only hold our breath in anticipation of the launch of the satellites in the latter half of 2010. On behalf of everyone who recognizes that O3b’s success means real competition for internet services in Fiji, we wish them well!