OneWeb picks Gillenwater as carrier and enterprise head

OneWeb picks Gillenwater as carrier and enterprise head

22 January 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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OneWeb has appointed Airtel executive Eric Gillenwater as its global carrier and enterprise operations.

The wholesale-only satellite company, which is due to start commercial service later this year, will be responsible for engaging distribution partners to deliver enterprise-grade connectivity solutions to the market.

Gillenwater (pictured) said: “The OneWeb offering can either be the primary solution or part of a multi-technology answer for enterprise applications. I am looking forward to working with our global partners to bring OneWeb’s LEO [low Earth orbit] technology to enterprises of all sizes around the world.”

OneWeb’s executive chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal told Capacity exclusively last week that the company will adopt a wholesale-only approach to its market. Mittal also leads the Airtel company, which has invested US$500 million in OneWeb, alongside a similar amount by the UK government.

OneWeb said that Gillenwater “will ensure the enterprise market is taking full advantage of OneWeb’s LEO network capabilities which will offer unprecedented speed and low latency connectivity to customers as early as the end of 2021”.

Mittal told us OneWeb will launch in October 2021 with 24-hour coverage everywhere between 50°N latitude and the North Pole, with full coverage across the whole world starting in May or June 2022, after all 648 satellites are in service.

Gillenwater has been with Airtel since 2015 as business head for the US and Europe, based in the New York city area.

Before that he was with carrier ethernet company CENX as senior VP of worldwide development. In 2010, he was the CENX executive who picked up an award from Capacity at that year’s Capacity Europe conference in Amsterdam — then called the Capacity Awards, now the Global Carrier Awards.

The judges at the time chose CENX for the best nice/new player category, as “an independent commercial operation which has grown out of the Metro Ethernet Forum, and in the last year has created carrier Ethernet exchanges and facilities where different parties can hand over Ethernet traffic to each other”.

He said today: “Many markets are grossly underserved by fibre or have limited satellite options due to high cost and high latency, thus creating a cost and customer experience challenge. My priority will be to upend this status quo and engage global partners to expand their business opportunities and increase the user experience.”