OneWeb Adds 34 More Satellites to Growing LEO Network

With growing demand for broadband connectivity services among telecom providers, aviation and maritime markets, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments around the world, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications provider ) OneWeb has confirmed the successful deployment of 34 new satellites, reaching two-thirds of its planned fleet of 648 LEOs that will provide connectivity.

Formed in 2012 with the goal of meeting the connectivity needs of underserved communities, OneWeb has always asserted that its satellite network has a unique ability to provide enhanced capacity, mobile resiliency, backhaul and coverage, including wireless access. fixed wire, in difficult geographical areas.

The company has developed “state-of-the-art” satellite technology from its bases in the UK and US, mimicking Elon Musk’s Starlink project, with a constellation of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide affordable, fast, high-bandwidth, low-latency communication service to the hardest-to-reach places in the world, connected to Internet of Things (IoT) devices and paving the way for the mass adoption of 5G services.

However, the company’s evolution has been difficult and it filed for bankruptcy in the United States in March 2020 after failing to find private investment. It was saved with a $500 million investment from the UK government and Bharti Global, and resumed operations in December 2020 with a payload of 36 satellites.

Since its resurrection, the company has accelerated its growth. In November 2021, he announced the latest in a series of investments and partnerships with BT as part of the UK telecoms leader’s vision to enable digital solutions across the country by 2028, agreeing terms of a new distribution partnership agreement to provide LEO satellite communication services. through the group.

Other recent distribution partnership agreements include those with Hughes Network Systems, Marlink and Field Solutions Holdings. OneWeb is expected to provide global coverage by June 2022 through the constellation of 648 LEO satellites.

The latest launch, by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, is OneWeb’s first in 2022 and 13th overall, bringing its total constellation in orbit to 428 satellites. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were distributed in nine batches over a period of three hours and 33 minutes, with signal acquisition on all 34 satellites confirmed.

OneWeb launches 34 additional satellites from Center Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana

“Our first launch of the year marks our significant progress towards completing a truly global LEO network later in 2022,” commented Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “We continue to see growing demand for OneWeb’s industry-leading services, as we look forward to realizing our ambition to create robust and secure global access to broadband services. »

OneWeb has dedicated this latest launch to its commitment to responsible space, its belief that space is a shared natural resource and that it is up to all stakeholders to help safeguard it for use today and through the future generations. The initiative is made up of three main elements: committing to responsible design and operations; support the space ecosystem to support new technologies in order to progress in this field; commit to advancing policy outcomes to balance the growth of the space economy while ensuring its protection.

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