Bharti Global and the UK Government led OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications announced the launch of 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle from Russia bringing the total in-orbit constellation to 110 satellites, part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will offer high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
The launch has put OneWeb on track to offer global services starting with the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada starting late 2021 with global services by 2022 having secured global priority spectrum rights. The company will launch high-speed internet from OneWeb satellites in India by mid-2022 having completed four successful launches.
Arianespace and Starsem will perform 15 more Soyuz launch through 2021 and 2022 which will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of low Earth Orbit satellites by the end of 2022.
“Today’s launch is one of many steps we have taken to operationalise one of the world’s first LEO constellation which clearly demonstrates we are on our way to achieving our mission. Overall, there is an overwhelming demand for broadband and the pandemic has taxed infrastructure everywhere and many people worldwide are left with little to no options to access the internet. OneWeb’s system will help meet existing and future demand by delivering broadband connectivity to the communities, towns, regions left unconnected or under-connected.”
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises