Satellite communications company, OneWeb was able to launch all 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This launch brings its total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites.
These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. The company, which is backed by the UK government and Indian group Bharti Airtel, has planned five-launch programme that will enable OneWeb’s connectivity solution to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude by the middle of 2021, with service ready to start by year end.
36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome is the second launch of the five-launch programme.
With these launches, the satellite will cover the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada, and will be switched on before the end of the year. Post which, OneWeb intends to make global services available in 2022.
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO commented, “This is the second of our ‘Five to 50’ launch series and represents a key moment in OneWeb’s return. The next launch in the series is scheduled for the end of April, as we continue our drive towards commercial service this year. OneWeb is rising to the challenge of our mission to provide connectivity to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Backed by exemplary shareholders, we are connecting the world.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added, “This latest launch is yet another boost for OneWeb and their ambitious plans to connect people and businesses across the globe to fast and reliable broadband. Our support for OneWeb puts the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space technology and demonstrates our commitment to grow Britain's competitive advantage in this field."