OneWeb, the satellite communications company Low Earth Orbit (LEO), announced the arrival of 36 satellites on Tuesday.
OneWeb, the satellite communications company Low Earth Orbit (LEO), announced the arrival of 36 satellites at the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC-SHAR) on Tuesday ahead of a planned launch from Sriharikota.
OneWeb has partnered with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the national space agency Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to facilitate the launch.
With this launch, OneWeb will have more than 70 percent of its planned “Gen 1 LEO constellation” in orbit as it progresses to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services around the world, the company said in a statement. declaration.
“The launch will be the company’s 14th and the satellites will be launched into orbit by the heaviest ISRO rocket, the GSLV-MkIII, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center,” the statement said.
An additional launch will take place this year, with three more launches planned for early next year to complete the constellation, OneWeb said.
The company called the upcoming launch a pivotal moment “showing tremendous momentum and progress towards delivering global coverage next year”.
“OneWeb resumes its launch program with leading partners in the satcom industry and the company’s services are already available in Alaska, Canada, the UK and the Arctic,” the statement said.
Bharti Enterprises, a major investor and shareholder of OneWeb, announced this year a distribution partnership with Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL). OneWeb will connect cities, towns and local and regional municipalities in the hard-to-reach areas and “play a critical role in bridging the digital divide in India”.
“OneWeb’s commitment to industry collaboration has enabled us to successfully navigate the ever-changing global environment and prepare for another milestone launch. We pride ourselves on our ability to adapt and stay on track to deliver global connectivity in the hardest-to-reach places,” Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said.
The launch of 36 OneWeb satellites aboard India’s GSLV-MkIII is a “historic moment” for NSIL and ISRO, said Radhakrishnan D, chairman and managing director of NewSpace India Limited.
“We are excited to see the arrival of the satellites and ground support equipment in India in preparation for launch,” added Radhakrishnan.
The stage is all set for some high voltage action as big names like Jio and OneWeb gear up for a slice of the lucrative market for satellite broadband services in India. Nelco and Telesat also completed successful LEO demonstrations in the country for enterprise, telecom and government.
The space segment broadband is also being closely watched by tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper.
Earlier this month, Reliance Jio Infocomm’s satellite unit received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from the telecoms division for satellite communications services. The LoI has been issued to Jio Satellite Communications Ltd (JSCL).