Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb, has announced the successful launch of another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission. This major milestone now means the company can deliver connectivity across the United Kingdom, Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, and the Arctic Region.
It also means that OneWeb can provide connectivity solutions to fully fixed energy rigs operating onshore and offshore in the 50N and above region. Longer term, the development will potentially unlock new, untapped commercial fishing and merchant shipping operations in the Arctic as well as enabling improved environmental monitoring of sensitive eco-systems in this region.
The latest launch takes OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation to 254 satellites, or 40% of OneWeb’s planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022.
Service demonstrations will begin this summer in several key locations – including Alaska and Canada. The company has already announced distribution partnerships across several industries and businesses including with BT, ROCK Network, AST Group, PDI, Alaska Communications and others.
It continues to engage with telecommunications providers, ISPs, and governments worldwide to offer its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services and growing demand for connections in the hardest to reach places.
The UK’s Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, MP, said: “This latest launch of OneWeb satellites will put high-speed broadband within reach of the whole Northern Hemisphere later this year, including improving connectivity in the remotest parts of the UK.
“Backed by the British Government, OneWeb proves what is possible when public and private investment come together, putting the UK at the forefront of the latest technologies, opening up new markets, and ultimately transforming the lives of people around the world.”
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said: “This is a truly historic moment for OneWeb, the culmination of months of positive momentum in our ‘Five to 50’ programme, increased investment from our global partners and the rapid onboarding of new customers. We are incredibly excited to start delivering high-speed, low-latency connectivity first to the UK and the Arctic region and to see our network scale over the coming months as we continue building to global service. Thanks to all our incredible partners who have been with us on this journey and are instrumental to making OneWeb’s mission a success.”