OneWeb gets halfway to constellation completion

The company was bought from bankruptcy by the UK Government and the Indian company Bharti Global for $1 billion in June 2020.

The latest launch in Kazakhstan means that it has a total in-orbit constellation of 322 satellites, against a revised target of 648. The fleet is intended to deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity to the northern hemisphere (the 50th parallel and above).

The satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches after 3 hours 45 minutes into the flight, with signal acquisition on all 34 satellites confirmed, said the London-headquartered company.

OneWeb has raised $2.7 billion since November 2020, with no debt issuance, and expects to start its broadband services before the end of this year. “To some of the hardest to reach parts of the world,” it says.

“The team continues to stay focused on execution and delivering our network,” said OneWeb CEO, Neil Masterson. “I am enormously grateful to the team and all our partners who are making these milestones possible. We continue to see a huge and growing demand for our services from global customers, and we are incredibly excited about both introducing commercial service and scaling our global network.”

The delivery also marked Arianespace passing 1,000 satellites being successfully launched to space.

Launch 10 for OneWeb is pictured above.

From Web to Galaxy

OneWeb also announced a Canadian distribution partner, Galaxy Broadband, to deliver its services across Canada and the wider Arctic region.

OneWeb’s platform – via a network of gateways and user terminals – will add a low latency service to Galaxy’s existing SD-WAN (software defined wide area network) of GEO satellite or Microwave connectivity across Canada, said the companies, enabling “a fibre-like experience”.

The partnership will apparently focus on industries such as Mining, Oil and Gas, Utilities and Construction.

“OneWeb’s network design uniquely offers Canada large amounts of capacity coupled with high-speed, low-latency services that will serve to bridge the digital divide across the country – and our services will start by the end of this year,” said Eric Gillenwater, OneWeb’s VP & Business Head, Global Carrier and Enterprise.

“I’m delighted to partner with the Galaxy team. They are satellite pioneers and experts in delivering effective communication solutions and together we will be able to offer game-changing service across Canada and the Arctic.”

See also: South Korea invests in OneWeb LEO satellite constellation