Bharti-Backed OneWeb Deploys Over 60 Per Cent Of Planned LEO Satellite Fleet, To Deliver Global Internet Connectivity

OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, on Monday (27 December) launched 36 more satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“Liftoff of the latest launch occurred on 27 December… 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 36 satellites confirmed,” the company said in a statement.

The latest launch, the company’s twelfth overall and ninth since December 2020, takes OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 394 satellites, representing over 60 percent of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

OneWeb is co-owned by Bharti group and the United Kingdom government.

The company is expected to launch its satellite communication services in India by 2022.

According to a statement by the company, its business is now fully-funded with $2.7bn raised since November 2020 and no debt issuance.

Further, in the past month, OneWeb has signed distribution partner agreements with Airbus to provide LEO services for military and governmental use in Europe as well announcing a new Canadian-headquartered distribution partner, Network Innovations, and Vocus to expand enterprise connectivity in Australia.

“OneWeb now has over sixty percent of its global satellite fleet in space. It is an extraordinary achievement for a company that was reborn just a year ago…Together we are delivering on our promise to achieve digital transformation on a global scale, through our robust, secure and resilient satellite broadband network,” said Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, who is also the executive chairman of OneWeb.