OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator, co-owned by Bharti Global and the UK government, launched another batch of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia. The latest launch takes OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 182 satellites. These would form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

What

  1. The latest launch of LEO satellites will enable OneWeb to offer services across the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas and Canada, and will be switched on before the end of the year. OneWeb intends to make global service available next year, including in India.
  2. Earlier this month, OneWeb inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kazakhstan government and local partners to drive the Central Asian nation’s ambitions to digitise its economy boost connectivity and become a pioneer in satellite communications.
  3. Last November, Bharti Global MD Shravin Mittal had said that OneWeb is open to entering India either directly or through a commercial partnership, involving either the JV route or a bandwidth capacity leasing pact, even as it gears up to launch fast broadband services in the country by June 2022.
  4. Bharti Global is the overseas arm of Bharti Enterprises -- the holding company of Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telco.