OneWeb to provide rural wholesale 4G services to Veon
Satellite company OneWeb is to provide Veon with mobile internet connectivity and digital services in emerging markets.
Veon – now close to being shorn of its Russian business, VimpelCom – operates in countries with 510 million people, with some of the lowest population densities in the world.
Kaan Terzioğlu, Veon group CEO, said: “Our partnership with OneWeb enables us to ensure that the continuity of this essential service can be secured everywhere, providing access to seamless connectivity and digital services, supporting resilience, and enabling growth.”
The alliance comes a week before OneWeb’s penultimate launch, expected at 19:05 Eastern time on 9 March from Cape Canaveral, Florida. OneWeb now has 542 of its planned 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites in service. The final launch, to take it to the full 648, will be from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre, also in March.
With global connectivity only weeks away, OneWeb is likely to be announcing more wholesale deals. The company yesterday announced the completion of a new satellite gateway in Brazil, working with Telespazio Brasil.
It is one of two gateway sites in Brazil, and one of seven across Latin America, built to deliver OneWeb connectivity across the whole region.
Christopher Casarrubias, head of regulatory and government affairs at OneWeb, said: “This gateway will be one of the most advanced in Latin America and help to bring reliable connectivity to Brazilian communities and customers across the country.”
The Veon deal, separate from the Brazilian project, will advance Veon’s plan to deliver 4G across its service area.
Terzioğlu said: “We have always stated that our focus is ‘4G for all’ and that mobile communication is an essential service. Our partnership with OneWeb enables us to ensure that the continuity of this essential service can be secured everywhere, providing access to seamless connectivity and digital services, supporting resilience, and enabling growth.”
OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said: “With this partnership we can support the development of telecoms and digital infrastructure in emerging markets, working with Veon to ensure the essential roll-out of mobile connectivity.”
London-based OneWeb has agreed a merger with Paris-based Eutelsat, which is likely to go to Eutelsat shareholders in the second half of this year.