April 23, 2022: OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced yesterday, that the company and New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, have entered into an agreement that will help ensure OneWeb completes its satellite launch programme using ISRO launch vehicles.
The first launch with New Space India is anticipated in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launches will add to OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites, 66 per cent of the planned total fleet, to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity.
This launch contract follows a separate agreement between OneWeb and SpaceX to enable the company to resume satellite launches, announced in March 2022. OneWeb has already activated service with its network at the 50th parallel and above, as demand for the company’s broadband connectivity services continues to grow from multiple sectors and markets.
Said OneWeb Executive Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal: : “This is yet another historic day for collaboration in space, thanks to the shared ambition and vision of New Space India and OneWeb. This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network, as we work together across the space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally."
Licence from Indian government
In a separate development, Oneweb has received a licence from the Indian government to provide satellite services in the country and plans to provide connectivity from mid-2022.
"The Department of Telecom has issued Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence to OneWeb," an official source told PTI.
Said Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt (Retd.), Director General, Indian Space Association: It’s a defining moment with DoT signing India’s first license agreement for satellite broadband services with OneWeb. This is a new beginning towards the next age of broadband revolution via LEO satellites constellations in the country. Broadband through Leo Satellite has the immense capability to change the connectivity dynamics in the country as it can solve the connectivity challenges in remotest regions where it’s still an issue. This move will inspire and act as a stepping stone for other private players as well to steadfastly work towards new-age satellite communication technologies in the near future. Today, India is at the cusp of an emerging evolution and LEO satellite-based broadband has the potential in playing a key role in bringing high-speed, low latency services to users.”