Bharti Global and UK Govt controlled One Web to launch 36 satellites

Bharti Global and the UK government-led satellite communications company OneWeb on Friday announced the launch of 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle, which began from the Vostochny Cosmodrome (Russia).

A part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity, the latest launch brings the total in-orbit constellation to 110 satellites,

It said that the launch puts OneWeb on track to offer global services to customers from late 2021, starting with the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas, and Canada, with global service in 2022.

OneWeb has secured global priority spectrum rights and now successfully completed four launches and aims to offer high-speed internet from OneWeb satellites in India by mid-2022.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said: “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.

He noted that 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,” he said.

Less than a month since its acquisition by Bharti Global and the UK Government, OneWeb is quickly returning to full operations — hiring at a fast pace, restarting launches, continuing to build its ground station network, and pushing forward on user terminal development, said the OneWeb statement.

OneWeb is a global communications company building a capability to deliver broadband satellite internet services to a geographically global demographic. The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom and McLean, Virginia, United States with offices in California, and has a satellite manufacturing facility in Florida – OneWeb Satellites – that is a joint venture with Airbus Defence and Space. The company was formerly known as WorldVu Satellites

The company emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings and reorganization in November 2020 with a new ownership group—led by Bharti Global and UK national government, each holding 42.2% of the company equity and board. OneWeb re-affirmed intent to continue to build out the satellite constellation

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