OneWeb, a satellite communications company specialising in low Earth orbit (LEO) operations, has confirmed the successful launch and signal acquisition of a further 34 satellites, bringing its total in-orbit constellation to 288 satellites. These satellites, which were launched by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 21 August, will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity around the world.
The launch further bolsters OneWeb’s confidence in its business as it prepares to introduce commercial service and focus on scaling to global service. A company official stated the company is on track to deliver global service in 2022 and is seeing “growing demand” from telecommunications providers, ISPs, and governments worldwide for its connectivity services. OneWeb also recently announced it has secured a further US$300 million in funding from Hanwha, meaning it is now fully funded to deliver its constellation and take its satellites into commercial service.
Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb commented, “Following the successful completion of our ‘Five to 50’ mission [five satellite launches, to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude], 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.”