OneWeb plans ‘ambitious’ set of launches after success at Baikonur
OneWeb’s ninth launch finally got off the pad at the weekend, just 48 hours late after an unexpected technical problem on Thursday.
The company, whose biggest shareholder is India’s Bharti group, now has 288 of its planned 648 satellites in orbit.
Now OneWeb is planning “an ambitious back-to-back launch programme until the end of 2021”, CEO Neil Masterson said on Sunday.
“We are seeing huge demand for our service from global customers, and we are incredibly excited about scaling our network ahead of commercial launch. This success is down to our talented team and partners around the world, who continue to work relentlessly every day to deliver OneWeb’s constellation and bring connectivity to those in the hardest to reach places.”
The company has reported successful contact with all of the 34 satellites that were on the Soyuz rocket, launched from the Russian cosmodrome of Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 22:13 UTC (pictured).
OneWeb said that it is fully funded to deliver its constellation and take its satellites into commercial service.
In a keynote speech next Monday at Capacity’s International Telecoms Week conference, OneWeb executive chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal is expected to give some indications of how the company plans its move into commercial service. OneWeb is expected to hold on to its commercial model of being a wholesale provider, working with retail telecoms operators and internet service providers.
Mittal will be speaking at 09:10 EDT on Monday 30 August. The event takes place near Washington DC at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Full registration details are here.
OneWeb said on Sunday it remains on track to deliver global service in 2022 and said it is seeing growing demand from telecommunications providers, ISPs and governments “to offer its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services to the hardest to reach places”.