OneWeb almost halfway there after Baikonur success

OneWeb almost halfway there after Baikonur success

15 September 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

OneWeb has almost reached its halfway point of satellites in orbit after last night’s successful launch of 34 more.

The company now has 322 satellites out of a target, by the middle of next year, of 648, inlcuding 50 in-orbit spares. 

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said: “The team continues to stay focused on execution and delivering our network. I am enormously grateful to the team and all our partners who are making these milestones possible. We continue to see a huge and growing demand for our services from global customers, and we are incredibly excited about both introducing commercial service and scaling our global network.”

French company Arianespace launched the latest crop of satellites, using the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The event included the thousandth satellite that Arianespace has launched successfully in its history.

OneWeb, owned by India’s Bharti Global and a range of international investors including the UK government which have provided US$2.7 billion since November 2020.

The company plans to use a wholesale-only route to market, via local telecoms operators and internet service providers. It has deals with AT&T – announced last week – as well as Hughes Network Systems, Alaska Communications, BT and Northwestel.

OneWeb said it remains on track to start service this year at the 50° north parallel and north of that into the Arctic. It plans to deliver global services in 2022.