OneWeb has successfully deployed 36 satellites, bringing the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 618 satellites.
The satellites were launched by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India and the lift-off took place on 26 March at 9:00am local time.
OneWeb says that thanks to this successful launch, the constellation is now in place to soon deliver global services. By the year-end, OneWeb will be ready to roll out global coverage, enhancing its existing connectivity solutions that are already live in regions north of 50-degrees latitude as it brings new areas online by partnering with leading providers.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman of OneWeb, said: “In my work I have seen the power of connectivity to bring benefits to all, wherever they are. Yet half the world’s population does not have access to fast, reliable connectivity. Today’s launch represents a major step towards closing the digital divide. OneWeb’s global constellation will play a pivotal role in realising this dream.
“I am particularly proud that OneWeb has crossed the threshold to be able to provide its global coverage in India, a country whose ambitions in enhancing Space-based connectivity are being driven by New Space India and ISRO. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India’s target to significantly expand access to high-speed internet connectivity is vital, and OneWeb is grateful for all the support and is delighted to be playing its part. Overall, this is an incredibly exciting time for the satellite connectivity industry, and I am delighted that the UK and India are at the forefront of developments.”
“I would like to thank colleagues, our partners, vendors, investors and customers who have realised the potential of OneWeb and made this launch possible. I am incredibly excited for the future of OneWeb and the opportunity its connectivity services provide to communities globally.”
UK technology minister Michelle Donelan said: “The completion of the LEO constellation is hugely significant both for OneWeb and the UK’s wider sector. We invested in OneWeb’s vision to bridge the global digital divide, and our burgeoning space sector is transforming the UK into the perfect base for like-minded companies to realise their stratospheric potential.
Neil Masterson, chief executive of OneWeb, added: “This is the most significant milestone in the history of OneWeb, as we reach the satellites needed for global coverage. Over several years we have remained focused on our commitment to deliver coverage solutions for the customers and communities that need it most. With today’s satellite deployment, facilitated by our expert team and our partners at ISRO and NSIL, we are realising this central ambition. I would like to pay tribute to all of my colleagues at OneWeb who have driven our rapid momentum and progress over recent years. It is thanks to them that we will be able to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity around the world later this year.”