OneWeb announced the successful launch of another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission. With this major milestone, the company is ready to deliver connectivity across the U.K., Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland and the Arctic Region.
The latest launch takes OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation to 254 satellites, or 40 percent of OneWeb’s planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites that will deliver high speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022.
Service demonstrations will begin this summer in several key locations—including Alaska and Canada—as OneWeb prepares for commercial service in the next six months. Offering enterprise-grade connectivity services, the company has already announced distribution partnerships across several industries and businesses including with BT, ROCK Network, AST Group, PDI, Alaska Communications and others, as OneWeb expands its global capabilities. The company continues to engage with telecommunications providers, ISPs and governments worldwide to offer its low-latency, high speed connectivity services and sees growing demand for new solutions to connect the hardest to reach places.
The launch of the latest 36 satellites was conducted by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrom. Liftoff occurred on July 1, 2021 at 13:48 BST. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 52 minutes with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.
The Prime Minister of the U.K., the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, MP, said, “This latest launch of OneWeb satellites will put high speed broadband within reach of the whole Northern Hemisphere later this year, including improving connectivity in the remotest parts of the U.K.
“Backed by the British Government, OneWeb proves what is possible when public and private investment come together, putting the U.K. at the forefront of the latest technologies, opening up new markets and ultimately transforming the lives of people around the world.”
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said, “This is a truly historic moment for OneWeb, the culmination of months of positive momentum in our ‘Five to 50’ programme, increased investment from our global partners and the rapid onboarding of new customers. We are incredibly excited to start delivering high speed, low-latency connectivity first to the U.K. and the Arctic region and to see our network scale over the coming months as we continue building to global service. Thanks to all our incredible partners who have been with us on this journey and are instrumental to making OneWeb’s mission a success.”