Bharti-backed OneWeb Launches Another 34 Satellites, Total In-Orbit Satellites Stand At 288

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With this launch, the total in-orbit constellation of the company has reached 288 satellites

Image for representational purpose only

Bharti-backed satcom provider OneWeb has launched 34 more satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in an effort to commence low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband service from this year and deliver global service.

With this launch, the total in-orbit constellation of the company has reached 288 satellites.

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“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.

These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 low earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed and low-latency global connectivity.

As per reports, OneWeb has received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from India’s telecom department for providing global mobile personal communication by satellite (GMPCS services) in the country.

“Liftoff occurred on 21 August at 11:13 BST. 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 UK-based company said in a release.

“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,” said Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO.

South Korean technology and manufacturing company Hanwha Systems recently announced a USD 300 million equity investment in OneWeb.

Bharti Global invested $500 million in OneWeb in June 2021, making it the biggest shareholder in the satcom company with a 39 per cent stake.

With the latest round of cash injection, the company has received a total of $2.7 billion in equity investment since November 2020, with no debt issuance, OneWeb said previously.

“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.

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