London, , December 20 2020: OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has confirmed the successful launch of all 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle, which began flight from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This brings the total in-orbit constellation to 110 satellites, part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
Lift-off occurred on 18 December at 12:26 GMT. 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.
Less than a month since its acquisition by the UK Government and Bharti Global, 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. (In July Bharti picked up a 45 % stake in One Web -- the same as the UK government for $ 500 million)
The success of this launch will put OneWeb on track to offer global services to customers starting with the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland,
Says Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises. “Today’s launch is one of many steps we have taken to operationalise one of the world’s first LEO constellations which clearly demonstrates we are on our way to achieving our mission. 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 communities, towns, and regions left unconnected or under-connected.”