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RigNet and O3b Networks Close Offshore Deal to Bring Low Latency Connectivity to the Gulf of Mexico



RigNet, Inc. 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 break through 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 & 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, fiber in the sky.”

An alternative to laying expensive fiber 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.”