OneWeb launches 36 satellites successfully, to start full satellite broadband service in India by May 2022
Bharti-backed OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, on Thursday announced the successful lift-off of another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its 'Five to 50' mission and will start full satellite broadband service in India by May 2022.
With this major milestone, the company is on the way to deliver connectivity across the United Kingdom, Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, and the Arctic Region.
The completion of the latest launch will take OneWeb's in-orbit constellation to 254 satellites, or 40 per cent of OneWeb's planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Executive Chairman of OneWeb, said: "Today's momentous milestone demonstrates that OneWeb is now a leader in LEO broadband connectivity, serving a wide range of stakeholders across the Northern Hemisphere. This fifth launch amid the unprecedented global pandemic is truly remarkable and I congratulate the management team and fellow shareholders on the success."
"Bharti's doubling of its investment earlier this week is testament to the commitment to OneWeb's mission. Mittal said that Airtel has raised USD 12 billion in the last 24 months. Investments in one web are not at the cost of Bharti. We will look at the IPO of one web at the right time. British telecom will use one web to reach remote parts of the UK. Strategy is serving enterprise customers, not retail," he said.
Mittal expressed hope that OneWeb will get a satellite broadband license in India this month and said he is expecting to start full satellite Broadband service by May 2022.
He said that no OneWeb equipment today comes from China, it only comes from security approved western countries.
Responding to questions of tariff hike of Airtel he said, "How long you can be killing each other (operators), we will not hesitate on raising tariffs, but cannot do it unilaterally."
Mittal said Industry ARPU is unsustainable. "We are talking about ARPUs of 200, which will still be lower than 6 years. We can unilaterally move on ARPUs, have to be mindful on tariffs."
"AGR installment has been made, next one has to be paid next year," he said. (ANI)