OneWeb launches first six LEO satellites into orbit from Kourou

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The first OneWeb satellites launch from French Guiana.
The first OneWeb satellites launch from French Guiana.

OneWeb has announced the successful launch of its first six broadband satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Lift-off occurred on February 27th at 21:37 pm UTC. The six OneWeb satellites separated from the rocket in two batches.

Signal acquisition has been confirmed for all six satellites. OneWeb’s satellites are manufactured by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space.

Launching more than 30 satellites per rocket, OneWeb’s monthly launch program will grow its constellation to more than 650 satellites to allow customer demos in 2020 and provide full global commercial coverage by 2021.

The OneWeb network will provide a unique combination of high data throughput, low latency, true global coverage to the poles, and a range of user terminals for multiple markets.

OneWeb’s satellites will communicate with Earth via the Ka and Ku spectrum bands.

The Ka-band will be used for communication between the Ground Network (which connects the OneWeb system to the Internet) and the satellites; while the Ku band will be used for communication between the satellites and the user terminals that will deliver Internet connectivity to consumers.

OneWeb announced yesterday the signing of its first two customers, highlighting the demand for global coverage solutions.

OneWeb’s business model allows OneWeb to provide service indirectly through reseller partners, or directly to the end customer, in the case of airlines or vessel operators, for example.

Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said: “This successful launch is a historic milestone, and marks the start of a new phase for our company as we begin scaling our satellite constellation in preparation to start full commercial services.

“I am also proud that we were able to announce the signing of our first two customers, demonstrating demand for OneWeb’s services.”

OneWeb announced during #MWC19 that it has secured its first customer contracts to deliver its high speed, low latency, global communications services.

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OneWeb has signed an agreement to provide Talia, the market-leading teleport, satellite and network operator, with a fast, affordable service for the Quika platform to offer consumer broadband internet and community WiFi across a number of regions including Africa and the Middle East.

The company’s next generation global satellite broadband service will come on stream for Talia starting in 2021, with virtually all of Talia’s markets activated by 2023.

Alan Afrasiab, President and CEO Talia Ltd said “Talia is proud to sign the first significant LEO service agreement with OneWeb as a network service provider. Talia continues to be at the forefront of the satellite industry, continually looking ahead and implementing the very latest technologies available in the market for our customers.

“We are delighted to be working with the team who will provide us with the high-speed broadband coverage for the Quika service, which we need to reach all our customers, removing geographic, speed and latency barriers.

“Talia is working closely with the OneWeb team to design and tailor the OneWeb services for the Quika platform to rapidly meet the ever-increasing demand for high speed, low latency and ubiquitous connectivity from our customers.”

Separately, the company has contracted with Intermatica, global carrier and solution provider of broadband and VOIP telecommunications services for businesses in Europe.

With their global communications network, customers will take advantage of high speed, low latency broadband services which go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure – for example, to remote, rural communities and for businesses and industries that rely on global connectivity, such as Aviation, Maritime, Automotive, and Locomotives.

With latency less than 50 milliseconds, OneWeb’s customers will have service capable of meeting a range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.

Nicolas Zibell, Chief Commercial Officer, OneWeb said: “Bringing on board Talia and Intermatica at the very start of our commercialisation phase demonstrates the pent-up demand for our global coverage solution and showcases how companies are thinking ahead to meet the future IoT and 5G demands of their customers as well.

“OneWeb offers simple product, service and pricing options to ensure that it’s easy for clients, resellers and operators to do business with us. We look forward to the continued and exciting growth with both Talia and Intermatica.”

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