Orange picks OneWeb to offer remote backhaul and wholesale

Orange picks OneWeb to offer remote backhaul and wholesale

Anne-Marie Thiollet.jpg

Orange is to use OneWeb satellites to backhaul its mobile base stations in remote areas, the company said today.

The French telco will also use OneWeb’s network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to enable it to offer services small, medium and large enterprises, and appears poised to be a major wholesale provider of OneWeb services to other telcos and internet service providers.

Anne-Marie Thiollet (pictured), Orange Business’s deputy executive VP for products and marketing, said: “Our customers – ranging from multi-nationals, enterprises, governments to NGOs – will have access to OneWeb’s pioneering satellite network. This high speed and low latency solution will efficiently complement Orange Business’s existing portfolio to keep connecting our customers to their applications anytime, anywhere, with the right quality of service to meet their business requirements.”

The agreement comes just hours before OneWeb’s penultimate launch in its first generation of 648 satellites. SpaceX will launch 40 satellites tomorrow at 19:13 UTC – unless there are last-minute delays.

It also comes weeks before Eutelsat is due to acquire OneWeb, a deal expected to be completed in July.

Jean-Louis Le Roux, executive VP of Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services, explained about the OneWeb deal: “At Orange, we believe that satellite is a promising and complementary technology showcasing many recent innovations that will benefit enterprises all around the word and will accelerate the digital inclusion of populations within our subsidiaries in Africa and the Middle East.”

This partnership with OneWeb is designed to improve and expand Orange’s overall connectivity, particularly in rural and remote areas across Europe, Latin America and Africa, said the companies.

With this partnership, Orange said it will offer “enriched connectivity, integrating OneWeb’s LEO technology, to enterprise customers and telco operators in different regions of the world”.

That expression indicates Orange plans to offer wholesale services to other telcos in remote regions.

It said that “OneWeb’s LEO technology will therefore complement existing services and enable connection to hard-to-reach areas which previously could not be served with an enhanced latency”.

OneWeb satellites orbit at 1,200km above the surface, ensuring the latency is just a few milliseconds, comparable to fibre connections.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, commented: “This is an exciting partnership that will help improve and expand connectivity globally. Orange’s market-leading position across several continents, coupled with OneWeb’s unique network and LEO technology, will help bridge digital divides and ensure access to efficient, high-quality, and reliable broadband internet is available to customers in Europe, Latin America, Africa and other locations across the world.”

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