Starlink competitor deployment completed

OneWeb has completed the deployment of its satellite constellation. The next step will be to organize the operation of ground stations. This will allow the company to start providing global satellite Internet services. 

OneWeb company logo. Source: OneWeb

OneWeb was founded in 2012 with the aim of creating a global satellite Internet system. Its deployment was carried out with the help of Russian launch vehicles. By February 2022, the company managed to launch 428 of the required 648 spacecraft.

After the start of the large-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine, and the ultimatum of Roscosmos, OneWeb completely severed relations with the aggressor country and ordered its employees to leave the Baikonur cosmodrome, where preparations for the next launch were being carried out. This put the company in a difficult position. But OneWeb’s management found a way out by agreeing to launch the remaining satellites with SpaceX and the commercial division of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). 

At the end of 2022, SpaceX and ISRO began to produce the remaining OneWeb satellites. On March 25, a LVM 3 rocket was launched from the Indian spaceport on the island of Sriharikota. It launched the final batch of OneWeb spacecraft into orbit, thus completing the constellation deployment. 

LVM 3 rocket launch with the final batch of OneWeb satellites. Source: ISRO

OneWeb’s main priority for the coming months will be the deployment of ground stations that will transmit a satellite signal to end users. The company expects to start operating the system by the end of 2023. At the same time, OneWeb claims that the Starlink system is not their direct competitor. OneWeb’s main efforts will be focused on providing services for corporate clients and state-owned companies, while Starlink is primarily focused on the consumer market.

OneWeb management also announced the beginning of a joint development with Eutelsat of the second generation of satellites of the system. Their deployment should begin in 2025.

According to

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