Luxembourg SES Satellites has signed on Microsoft as the first cloud provider for its next-generation medium Earth orbit system O3bmPower.

Microsoft is pivoting from being a partner to also a customer of SES’ next-generation O3b mPOWER broadband constellation, which SES said remains on schedule despite an ongoing threat of supply chain disruption from COVID-19. The deal announced Aug. 17 sees Microsoft buy managed services from SES for Azure, and will also support its Azure Orbital ground station solutions business. SES had previously agreed to co-locate four O3b mPOWER ground stations at or near Azure data centers.

“Microsoft deploying our ground-breaking O3b mPOWER system is yet another step in our collaboration to bring high-performance, low latency Azure cloud services to customers around the globe,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.

Our collaboration with SES is key to delivering on our vision of multi-orbit, cloud-enabled capability to meet critical industry needs.

Boeing is building 11 O3b mPOWER satellites with the first three on track to launch together on a Falcon 9 around the end of 2021. A total of four SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets will be used to launch them.

Press release SES: