Appointments

OneWeb hires former Eir CEO as it challenges Inmarsat at sea

Stephen Benyon OneWeb.jpg

Satellite company OneWeb has appointed Stephen Beynon, formerly of Eir in Ireland, as its chief commercial officer.

At the same time the UK-based company has announced it is moving into maritime communications, challenging Inmarsat, which has long dominated the sector, via an agreement with a Greek technology company.

Beynon (pictured), who started this week, has spent most of his career in the telecoms industry – at the UK’s Mercury and Australia’s Optus before joining bandwidth trading company Band-X, where he was CEO for four years from 2000.

He then went to the cable TV industry, including Virgin Media, before heading consumer and small business activities for what is now Eir.

Meanwhile OneWeb has announced its move on to Inmarsat’s lawn by agreeing with Greek company Navarino, a maritime technology specialist, that it should become a global distribution partner to deliver high speed, low latency connectivity to the global commercial shipping industry.

OneWeb head of maritime Carole Plessy said, in a clear jibe at Inmarsat and others: “OneWeb’s data speeds will be up to ten times faster than GEO [geostationary] maritime solutions and have a significantly lower latency.”

Continuing the theme, she added: “Through our constellation of satellites, as well as through our various partnerships, we will be able to provide global coverage, including throughout the Arctic.” Geostationary satellites have no coverage of Arctic or Antarctic latitudes, because their satellites, orbiting 35,900km over the equator, are below the horizon.

OneWeb and Navarino will start sea trials from the start of 2023.

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