Technology 2 min read

OneWeb Launches First Batch of Satellites for its Global Internet Constellation

OneWeb's Global Internet Constellation of Satellites will orbit Earth at different altitudes | OneWeb

OneWeb's Global Internet Constellation of Satellites will orbit Earth at different altitudes | OneWeb

U.K.-based communications company OneWeb just successfully launched the first batch of satellites to form a Global Internet Constellation. The satellites, carried into space by an Arianespace Soyuz rocket, launched Wednesday night on the coast of French Guiana.

In an interview with Forbes, OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel said:

“I think this is going to be a historic day for the way we use space and technology to provide connectivity and use that spectrum to benefit the world.”

Founded in 2012, OneWeb aims to create the first 5G ready network from space.  The final goal is to provide Internet access to millions of people from anywhere on Earth.

In this new generation of Internet satellite technology, OneWeb joins SpaceX as the second company to actually put space probes into low-Earth orbit.

In February last year, SpaceX launched its two test satellites Microsat 2A and Microsat 2B to validate the design and functionality of the Starlink platform.

OneWeb’s Global Internet Constellation

OneWeb’s global Internet constellation will contain 648 satellites, each circling the Earth in near-polar orbits at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers. The company’s goal is to provide global Internet access through Ku-band radio frequencies by 2021.

After deploying the satellites, the company will then move to increase the total number of Earth-orbiting Internet satellites to over 900.

According to a tweet made by OneWeb’s founder Greg Wyler last month, 600 is only the minimum number of satellites the company needs to “achieve global coverage” and reach “enough profitability to self-fund growth.”

However, in an interview with SpaceNews in 2017, Wyler hinted at the launching of 2,000 satellites in different altitudes of orbit.

Read More: FCC Grants SpaceX Approval To Deploy 7,000 Broadband Satellites

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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