Bharti backed OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, is launching 36 more satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This latest launch, and the 9th since December 2020, will bring OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation to 394 satellites. This will represent 60 percent of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman, said: “With this launch, OneWeb will have sixty percent of its global satellite fleet in space. It is an extraordinary achievement for a company that was reborn just a year a significant step towards our promise to deliver digital transformation on a global scale through our robust, secure ago, and resilient satellite broadband network.”
Lift-off which occurred at 13.10 PM BST on 27 December, 2021, caps off a successful 2021 in which OneWeb gained significant momentum across the board. With strong shareholder support, the business is now fully-funded with $2.7bn USD raised since November 2020 and no debt issuance. In addition, OneWeb continues to see growing demand for its services. 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.
These agreements, along with other recent strategic partnership announcements with AT&T, Hughes Network Systems, BT, and Leonardo DRS will further OneWeb towards its goal of bringing improved digital communication services to some of the hardest to reach parts of the world. Additionally, OneWeb acquired TrustComm in 2021, now OneWeb Technologies, which is focused on meeting the complex needs of government customers.
OneWeb will enter the new year in a position of strength, as it plans to launch global service by the end of 2022 and as demand continues from telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, ISPs, and governments worldwide for its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services to provide businesses and consumers.