The Bharti Group-owned satellite internet firm OneWeb launched another batch of 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Arianespace-OneWeb Tie Up
Arianespace, a French company, said that when the OneWeb constellation is deployed, it will “enable user terminals that are capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage, providing high-speed access globally — by air, sea and land.”
It is responsible for launching all of the OneWeb satellites to date over the course of 10 separate missions.
With the latest launch, it has achieved the milestone of deploying more than 1,000 satellites over its 41 years of launch operations.
Half Of Total Fleet Deployed
It also takes OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 322 satellites, nearly half of its entire 648 LEO satellite fleet.
These Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
It also brings the company a step closer to start service in multiple regions in the northern hemisphere this year and globally next year.
These northernmost regions include Canada, Alaska (US), Greenland, Iceland and continental northern Europe.
In order to provide the service to some of the most remote regions in the world, OneWeb has entered into strategic distribution partnerships with a wide array of providers and businesses.
It is choosing this indirect route instead of providing commercial services to consumers directly by itself.
This also implies a reluctance to compete with other telcos and is choosing to join them instead.
The partnerships include those with AT&T, Hughes Network Systems, Peraton, Alaska Communications, BT, and Northwestel.
It will take on several other big-name satellite communications operators such as Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper.
Starlink through SpaceX has launched more than 1,700 of its Starlink broadband spacecraft to low Earth orbit.
Amazon plans to loft more than 3,200 broadband satellites of its own despite no launch yet.
OneWeb will launch satellite broadband services in India by May 2022.
It is targeting global satellite broadband coverage by mid-2022 and to achieve that it will sign up at least one telco in each of the 135-odd markets across the world.