OneWeb readies crucial launch as Superloop exec joins for Asia-Pacific market
Satellite company OneWeb is a week away from being able to launch its services commercially in the northern part of the world.
The company plans to launch 36 more satellites on 1 July, marking the end of its first phase — and allowing it to begin services between 50° north and the Arctic.
It is “our most important launch to date”, said the company — and, if successful, it will give OneWeb 254 satellites in orbit.
“This launch will allow us to provide complete connectivity coverage north of 50° latitude by the end of the 2021, connecting previously unconnected locations and providing high speed services across the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada.”
Meanwhile the company is preparing for its global expansion next year by appointing David Thorn as its new regional director of enterprise sales in the Asia-Pacific region. Thorn was chief revenue officer of Superloop until last year, and was earlier at WorldCom, BT, Level 3 Communications and Telstra.
OneWeb CCO Per Borgklint said: “David brings with him a deep understanding of the industry and highly-respected sales experience, so it’s great to have him onboard helping us communicate the value of OneWeb’s connectivity services to existing and prospective customers.”
Borgklint said the Asia-Pacific region is “one of our key markets across the globe”.
OneWeb has not confirmed the date when commercial services will start in areas of the world north of 50°. That line of latitude goes through — or almost goes through — cities including Vancouver, Lille, Brussels, Prague, Kraków, Kharkiv and Sakhalin. Everywhere north, including all of the UK, will be in the service area.
Next week’s launch, which will be the last from Russia’s Vostochny cosmodrome, close to the Chinese border. It is due to take place at 12:48 UTC.
OneWeb has further launches booked from Baikonur, in a Russian enclave in Kazakhstan, and from French Guiana in South America.