Satellite internet firm OneWeb launched 36 satellites to orbit

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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OneWeb, the satellite communications company backed by the United Kingdom (UK) and Bharti Global, the overseas arm of Indian multinational conglomerate company Bharati Enterprises launched its 36 satellites from a Soyuz launch vehicle which took off from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome. 

With the latest successful mission, OneWeb now has 110 satellites currently orbiting the earth as part of OneWeb’s goal to deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. The firm will eventually have 648 satellites in its fleet to expand its offering all across the globe.

OneWeb now aims to offer global services to customers from late 2021. The United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada are seen as the first countries which will benefit from the service with the rest of the world connecting in 2022.

India, the home country of Bharati Enterprises, the parent firm of OneWeb backer Bharti Global is expected to get high-speed internet service from the firm by mid-2022. The latest launch was the fourth successful mission of the firm while it has already secured global priority spectrum rights for the speedy deployment of services.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises stated that, “Today’s launch is one of many steps we have taken to operationalise one of the world’s first LEO constellation which clearly demonstrates we are on our way to achieving our mission.”

Mr. Mittal observed that there is an overwhelming demand for broadband and with the pandemic taxing infrastructure everywhere, many across the globe are left with no choice to connect to the internet.

“OneWeb’s system will help meet existing and future demand by delivering broadband connectivity to the communities, towns, regions left unconnected or under-connected,” the Bharti Enterprises Chairman remarked.

Earlier in June, Bharati had submitted a bid for global satellite firm OneWeb and emerged as the key perspective investor among several high profile companies. OneWeb’s other backer the UK government had also pledged $500 billion into the firm.