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OneWeb launches 34 satellites; total in-orbit constellation satellites at 288

Bharti Group-backed OneWeb, a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, on Monday confirmed the launch of 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

“The launch follows the successful completion of OneWeb’s ‘Five to 50’ mission and highlights the momentum of the business as it prepares to both introduce commercial service and focus on scaling to global service,” the company said.

This launch brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 288 satellites. These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said, “Following the successful completion of our ‘Five to 50’ mission, we are building on our success and embarking on an ambitious back-to-back launch programme until the end of 2021. We are seeing huge demand for our services from global customers, and we are incredibly excited about scaling our network ahead of its commercial launch.”

The lift-off occurred on 21 August. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 45 minutes with signal acquisition on all 34 satellites confirmed.

The company said OneWeb remains on track to deliver global service in 2022 and is seeing growing demand from telecommunications providers, ISPs, and governments worldwide to offer its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services to the hardest-to-reach places.

Since the start of 2021, OneWeb has announced distribution partnerships across several industries and businesses including most recently with Northwestel in Canada and BT in the UK.

“The business is growing from a position of strength, establishing itself as a leader in LEO broadband connectivity, and recently announced $300 million in further funding from Hanwha. OneWeb is fully funded to deliver its constellation and take its satellites into commercial service,” the company said. Livemint


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