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A step away from global coverage: OneWeb moves closer to building a satellite internet project

    OneWeb remains to launch only one batch of satellites to complete the deployment of the first-generation constellation in orbit.

    Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network operator OneWeb has confirmed the successful deployment of 40 more satellites in space to add to its constellation. Also confirmed information about the next launch, scheduled for the end of this month. If successful, OneWeb will complete the construction of the first generation global constellation of satellites.

    Seventeenth launch

    The last launch as of today was carried out by SpaceX from the launch pad in Florida on March 9th. The OneWeb satellites successfully separated from the launch vehicle and split into three groups, each taking 40 minutes to deploy. After that, the reception of the signal from all 40 satellites was confirmed.

    This launch is OneWeb’s seventeenth launch and the penultimate mission in the program to form the first generation (Gen 1) satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. Its goal is to provide global coverage as early as 2023. The company now has 582 satellites in orbit.

    “After this launch, OneWeb will have only one mission left to complete the development of the first generation satellite constellation. Therefore, we are already on track to achieve global coverage in 2023,” said OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson.

    When was the last run

    On March 26, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch the last 36 OneWeb satellites.

    The satellites are to be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota using a Mark-3 (LVM3) launch vehicle.

    This launch will be the second batch of satellites launched into space from Indian soil. Last October, 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites were already launched into orbit as part of a commercial agreement between NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a commercial division of ISRO, and OneWeb.

    What’s next

    OneWeb already has active customer connectivity solutions in key geographies around the world. It is also gearing up to connect new territories to the Internet through partnerships with leading providers including Veon , Orange, Galaxy Broadband, Paratus, Telespazio, and more.

    OneWeb is also planning a merger with the French company Eutelsat, which provides broadcasting services through its satellite network. Upon completion of this merger, the company will also be able to contribute to the formation of the European telecommunications network IRIS² .

    OneWeb has less than a thousand satellites in space. However, it demonstrates a willingness to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink. The era of satellite Internet has really begun.