Network Access Associates Ltd
TypePrivate
IndustrySatellite Internet access
PredecessorWorldVu Satellites
Founded2012; 10 years ago (2012)
FounderGreg Wyler[1][2][3]
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK[4]
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Neil Masterson (CEO)[5]
Owner
Number of employees
Increase ~600 (March 2022)
SubsidiariesOneWeb Satellites
Websiteoneweb.net

OneWeb (legally Network Access Associates Ltd)[7] is a communications company that aims to build broadband satellite Internet services.[4][8] The company is headquartered in London, and has offices in Virginia, US[9] and a satellite manufacturing facility in Florida – OneWeb Satellites – that is a joint venture with Airbus Defence and Space. The company was formerly known as WorldVu Satellites Ltd.[10][11]

The company was founded by Greg Wyler in 2012[1][2] and launched its first satellites in February 2019. It entered bankruptcy in March 2020 after failing to raise the requisite capital to complete the build and deployment of the remaining 90% of the network. The company emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings and reorganization in November 2020 with a new ownership group. As of 2021, Indian multinational company Bharti Global, France-based satellite service provider Eutelsat and the Government of the United Kingdom were the company's largest shareholders, while Japan's SoftBank retained an equity holding of 12%.[5][12]

History

OneWeb satellite manufacturing facility in Merritt Island, Florida.
OneWeb satellite manufacturing facility in Merritt Island, Florida.

The company was founded in 2012 under the name WorldVu,[11] and was based in Britain's Channel Islands.[13]

Google participation and transfer of the spectrum

Early reports of the potential involvement of Google in offering broadband internet services surfaced in February 2014, when a "very large [satellite] constellation" was rumored to be in the plans with as many as 1600 satellites.[14] In May 2014, the early concept had been to have at least 20 satellites operating in each of 20 orbital planes to provide consistent internet coverage over the surface of the Earth.[15]

By June 2014, WorldVu (later to be renamed to OneWeb) had acquired the satellite spectrum that was formerly owned by SkyBridge, a company that went bankrupt in 2000,[16] in a much earlier attempt to offer broadband Internet services via satellite.[17]

By September 2014, the WorldVu company had 30 employees, and several Google employees who had joined Google as part of the acquisition of O3b Networks in 2013 — Greg Wyler, Brian Holz and David Bettinger — left Google to become a part of WorldVu Satellites Ltd. They took with them the rights to a certain radio frequency spectrum that could be used to provide Internet access. At the time, WorldVu was working closely with SpaceX and SpaceX's founder Elon Musk to explore satellite internet services,[18] although no formal relationship had been established and no launch commitments had been made in 2014.[19]

SpaceX, initial manufacturing plans

By November 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk and Wyler were considering options for building a factory to manufacture high-volume low-cost satellites, and that "initial talks had been held with state officials in Florida and Colorado" about potentially locating a factory in those states,[20] as well as that SpaceX would likely launch the satellites.[20] Also in November 2014, WorldVu issued a tender "to satellite manufacturers for 640 125-kg satellites", asking for responses by mid-December 2014, having secured regulatory approval for use of the requisite electromagnetic spectrum communication frequencies in mid-2014.[21][22]

The 2014 OneWeb solicitation to satellite manufacturers was for a total build of approximately 900 small Internet-delivery satellites, including ground and on-orbit spares. Responses were received from both European and American manufacturers including Airbus Defence and Space, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, OHB SE, SSL and Thales Alenia Space, and discussions focused on how each of these companies might "escape their status-quo histories as major space hardware contractors and remake themselves into producers capable of producing multiple satellites per month, each with a cost of fewer than US$500,000".[23] OneWeb announced that it planned to form a joint venture with the winning bidder and open a new facility for manufacturing the new smallsats.[23]

Funding from Virgin Group and Qualcomm

In January 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that WorldVu, now operating under the name OneWeb Ltd, had secured funding from Virgin Group and Qualcomm to build and launch the constellation.[24][25] OneWeb also divulged that the planned satellites would weigh approximately 125 kg and that the plans were to deploy approximately 650 of them in low Earth orbit to operate at 1,200 km (750 mi) altitude.[24][25] Just a few days later, Elon Musk announced the rival Starlink venture, with the opening of the SpaceX satellite development facility in Seattle, Washington, with the intent of taking SpaceX itself into the business of internet provision and internet backhaul services, initially announced as aiming to build an approximately 4000-satellite constellation, with the first generation becoming operational in approximately 2020.[26]

The satellites for the OneWeb constellation were initially announced to be in the 110 kg (240 lb) class, about the same size as the two Earth-imaging satellites that were then operated by Skybox Imaging, which Google acquired in August 2014.[25][27][28] However, by the following year, sources put the satellites nearer 150–200 kg (330–440 lb) in mass.[23][29]

Pre-launch agreements and investments

In 2015, OneWeb secured US$500 million in funding, and agreed to purchase certain future launch services, from existing aerospace industry companies Arianespace and Virgin Galactic.[30][31] In June 2015, OneWeb also entered into a deal with Airbus Defence and Space for the construction of its broadband Internet satellites after a competition among American and European manufacturers.[32]

In July 2016, one year after the initial announcement, OneWeb stated they were on schedule.[33] In December 2016, OneWeb raised US$1 billion from SoftBank Group Corp. and US$200 million from existing investors.[34][35]

In February 2017, OneWeb announced that it expected to sell all of its capacity by launch time.[34] At the time, it had formally announced capacity sold for a joint Gogo and Intelsat venture.[34] OneWeb's founder and then executive chairman Greg Wyler announced he was considering nearly quadrupling the size of the satellite constellation by adding 1972 additional satellites that OneWeb had priority rights to.[34] With the original capital raise of US$500 million in 2015, plus the US$1 billion investment of SoftBank in 2016, previous "investors committed to an additional US$200 million, bringing OneWeb's total capital raised to US$1.7 billion".[34] A merger arrangement with Intelsat that had been in negotiations during May 2017 collapsed in June 2017 and did not go forward.[36]

Manufacturing and constellation rollout

The constellation was originally announced in June 2014 to be just half of the total of approximately 720 satellites. A quarter of the satellites were to make up the initial constellation, and these would operate in the lower of the two proposed orbits, at approximately 850 km (530 mi).[17] The initial constellation would presumably be raised or lowered into its final orbital altitude of either 800 km (500 mi) or 950 km (590 mi) as consumer and business use of the broadband service grows over time.[15] By early 2015, OneWeb indicated that the first launches would occur no earlier than 2017.[25]

In February 2016, OneWeb announced that they would set up an assembly and test facility in Florida with plans to assemble and launch the majority of the satellites by the end of 2019, while manufacturing an additional 250 of the 140 kg-satellites as spares to be used in later years.[37]

In 2019, OneWeb had formed a joint venture, OneWeb Satellites, with the European company Airbus Defence and Space in order to manufacture its satellites in higher volume and at lower cost than any satellites previously built by Airbus. A manufacturing facility was built in Merritt Island, Florida. Initial satellite production at the new facility began in mid-2019 and by January 2020, the factory reached the target production rate of two satellites per day.[38]

By the time the actual orbital deployment of the constellation began, in February 2019, the planned constellation size had settled once again at 648, near the original projection, with 600 active satellites with 48 on-orbit spares.[39]

In January 2020, OneWeb reached a production rate of two satellites per day. In February 2020, the company launched its first large batch of satellites.[40][41]

In January 2021, OneWeb amended its application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the number of satellites planned for its Phase Two constellation to 6,372.[42][43]

In November 2021, OneWeb says it has suffered a failure of one of its broadband satellites. The craft, which orbits at 1200km, was said by OneWeb to be one of a batch launched early last year and the failure is blamed on a software problem[44]

First launches and additional investments

On 27 February 2019, OneWeb launched its first six satellites into 1,200 km [45] low Earth orbit from the Centre Spatial Guyanais in French Guiana using a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle.[46][47] The same day OneWeb announced that it had signed its first two client agreements marking the beginning of its commercialization.[48] On 18 March 2019, OneWeb announced it had secured US$1.25 billion in funding following a successful first launch. The funding was from existing investors SoftBank and Qualcomm, as well as Grupo Salinas and the Government of Rwanda.[49]

By August 2019, the company had six of its satellites broadcasting at the right frequencies for 90 days, meeting the "use-it-or-lose-it" spectrum conditions set by the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU).[50] This secured the vital rights OneWeb needed to operate its global satellite broadband network.[13]

In February and March 2020, the company launched an additional 68 satellites to orbit, stating that launches would be paused to allow a minor design modification to be made before planning to resume in May 2020.[38]

Bankruptcy

On 27 March 2020, OneWeb Global Limited and 18 affiliates filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.[51][52][3] The company said the decision has been made because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.[53] The company laid off approximately 85% of its approximately 500 employees, but retained the capability to control its operational satellites during the period of court protection.[53][52]

On 3 July 2020, a consortium led by Bharti Global and the Government of the United Kingdom won the auction to purchase the bankrupt company.[54][55][56][57] The sale closed in November, allowing the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[58]

Exit from bankruptcy protection

On 3 July 2020, the Government of the United Kingdom and Sunil Mittal's Bharti Global (formerly a partner of OneWeb) announced a joint plan to invest US$500 million each for equal stakes in OneWeb Global, approximately 42% each; the rest would be held by other creditors including Softbank. The UK government would also hold a golden share to give it control over any future sales.[55][59][12] The plan was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on 10 July 2020,[60] and the deal closed in November 2020, allowing OneWeb to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In July 2020, Hughes Network Systems invested US$50 million in the consortium.[61] The same month, the UK government stated an intention to repurpose the OneWeb satellites for its own Global Navigation Satellite System.[55][62]

Shortly after the July public announcement of the OneWeb sale, a letter from Sam Beckett, the leading civil servant in the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), was released. In the letter, Beckett raised concerns that taxpayers' money could be at risk. The comments were made as part of a request for "ministerial direction", therefore it was required that the letter be made public and any concerns raised be formally overruled. BEIS minister Alok Sharma overrode the concerns and proceeded with the bid.[63]

On 21 September 2020, OneWeb announced that it was set to resume launching satellites for its global broadband network in December 2020 under a modified 16-launch contract with Arianespace.[64] The December payloads would ride to orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket and Fregat upper stage launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, according to Arianespace, and additional satellites were to be launched later from Russia, Kazakhstan, and French Guiana.[64]

New CEO, launches accelerating

In November 2020, the company announced that Neil Masterson, formerly chief operating officer at media company Thomson Reuters, had been appointed CEO.[65] The company launched 36 additional satellites on 17 December 2020.[5] Furthermore, OneWeb announced plans to accelerate launches in 2021 so that the 650 satellites necessary for global coverage would be in orbit by 2022.[66]

2021

In January 2021, a further funding round raised $400 million from SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems, with SoftBank getting a director seat on OneWeb's board. This brought available funding to $1.4 billion, which "positions the company" to fund its first-generation fleet of 648 satellites, but would be insufficient to fund full deployment of the constellation by mid-2022. OneWeb chairman, Sunil Mittal, estimated about a further $1 billion is required, but did not anticipate difficulty in raising that.[12]

In April 2021, OneWeb launched its sixth batch of satellites to orbit. It comprised 36 units, bringing the total in-orbit constellation to 182.[67] In the same month, it was also reported that Eutelsat was putting £400M into the company, in return for a 24% equity stake.[68] Eutelsat's stake decreased to 19.3% when Bharti Global increased its holding in June 2021.[69]

In May 2021, OneWeb was asked by the UK Space Agency to lead a consortium of space companies working to develop a satellite that can beam hop, meaning it can change which part of the world it covers. The consortium includes SatixFy, Celestia UK, and Astroscale UK.[70] That same month, OneWeb announced plans to buy TrustComm, a U.S.-based managed satellite communications provider. After the purchase, the company became OneWeb's government distribution partner.[71]

In May 2021, OneWeb's seventh launch took the number of satellites in orbit to 218, to create the second largest fleet behind Starlink.[72] By comparison Starlink had 1,700 satellites by the end of 2021.

In June 2021, Oneweb raised an additional US$500M from Bharti Global, increasing Bharti's holding to 38.6%.[73] In August 2021, Hanwha Systems invested $300 million to purchase an 8.8% share in OneWeb, enabling Hanwha to appoint one member of the board of directors and bring its own dual-use defense and satellite technology to the company.[74]

OneWeb became the founding member of Indian Space Association (ISpA). ISpA will act as bridge between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and private industries to form the space ecosystem in India.[75]

2022 Russia controversy

In 2022 multiple mainstream media sources reported that OneWeb was scheduled to launch satellites from Russia despite the UK's sanctions against Russia due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. There were calls for the UK side to cancel the launch. Russia said the launch had already been paid for and would not be refunded, and would be cancelled from the Russian side unless OneWeb provided additional assurance that the satellites would never be used for military purposes and the British Government disposed of its shares in the company. The British government refused this demand and the launch and other russian launches was cancelled.[76][77][78][79][80][81]

SpaceX/NSIL launch services

On 21 March 2022, OneWeb announced that it had signed a launch agreement with United States launch provider SpaceX to launch the remaining satellites on Falcon 9 rockets, with the first launch expected no earlier than summer 2022.[82][83] On 20 April 2022 OneWeb announced a similar deal with NewSpace India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation,[84] OneWeb satellites were deployed by LVM 3 on 22 October 2022, using a lightly modified version of the satellite dispenser previously used on Soyuz.[85][86]

Merger with Eutelsat

This section needs expansion with: the extent of the control of OneWeb by government vs. private/corporate entities following the merger. You can help by adding to it. (November 2022)

The merger of OneWeb and France's Eutelsat – an operator of geostationary satellites – was announced in July 2022.[87] OneWeb shareholders would receive 50% of the enlarged share capital whilst the UK would retain its golden share in OneWeb itself,[88] in a transaction which valued OneWeb at $3.4bn (£2.8bn).[89] The French and British governments are expected to have similar direct stakes of roughly 10% in the new joint entity as well as a seat on the board each, while France will also receive guarantees about[clarification needed] Eutelsat, while the Eutelsat intergovernmental governance scheme will remain in place.[90][full citation needed]

OneWeb satellite constellation

The OneWeb satellite constellation is a planned initial 648-satellite internet constellation which is in the process of being completed in 2022,[91] with a goal to provide global broadband internet services by the end of 2023.[92] The constellation is being deployed by OneWeb, headquartered in London, with offices in California, Florida, Virginia, Dubai and Singapore.

OneWeb's first six satellites were launched in February 2019,[93] the first large batch of 34 satellites was launched in February 2020,[94] and another 34 were put into orbit in March 2020.[95] These were followed by more launches in 2021. The small satellites were built by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb.[96] The satellites are in a circular low Earth orbit, at approximately 1,200 km (750 mi) altitude,[37] transmitting and receiving in the Ku-band of the radio frequency spectrum.[15]

In late March 2020, after securing its global satellite spectrum and orbital rights with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and launching 74 satellites, OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but maintained the satellite operations center for the satellites already in orbit while the court determined the disposition of OneWeb's assets. The company exited bankruptcy in November 2020, after being sold to the Government of the United Kingdom and Bharti Global.[97]

By October 2022, OneWeb had launched 464 of the planned low Earth orbit satellites in the initial constellation. In July 2022 it was announced that OneWeb was to merge with France's Eutelsat, an established operator of geostationary satellites.

Design

The satellites in the OneWeb constellation are approximately 150 kg (330 lb) in mass,[39] a bit smaller than the 2015 design estimate of 150–200 kg (330–440 lb).[23][29] The 648 operational satellites are to operate in 12 near polar orbit planes at 1,200 km (750 mi) altitude, at 86.4° orbital inclination. Initially 18 orbital planes with 49 satellites per plane was planned, requiring 882 satellites plus some spares, but improved satellite coverage capability allowed this to be reduced to 12 planes of 49 satellites requiring 588 satellites plus some on-orbit spares.[98][99][100]

The first-generation satellites do not have inter-satellite data links, so will only provide a user service when also in the range of a gateway ground station.[100]

The satellites will provide user service in the Ku-band, communicating in the microwave range of frequencies in the 12–18 GHz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.[15][25] Links to gateway ground stations will be in the Ka-band.[100] The satellites use a technique called "progressive pitch" in which the satellites are slightly turned to avoid interference with Ku-band satellites in geostationary orbit. The user terminal antenna on the ground are either phased array antenna measuring approximately 36 by 16 cm (14.2 by 6.3 in) or dual motorised tracking antennas and will provide Internet access at 50+ megabits/second downlink bandwidth [25] and 10-20 megabits/second uplink bandwidth.[citation needed] The satellites will be designed to comply with "orbital debris-mitigation guidelines for removing satellites from orbit and, for low-orbit satellites, assuring that they reenter the Earth's atmosphere within 25 years of retirement".[101]

Launches

A stack of 36 OneWeb satellites ready for integration to LVM 3 rocket for its 14th launch
A stack of 36 OneWeb satellites ready for integration to LVM 3 rocket for its 14th launch

On 27 February 2019, OneWeb successfully launched the first 6 of the 648 planned satellites (600 active plus 48 on-orbit spares) into low Earth orbit from the Centre Spatial Guyanais using a Russian Soyuz ST-B rocket.[93][102]

List of launches

In November 2019, OneWeb planned monthly launches to begin in January 2020,[103] although the first of these launches was delayed to early February 2020,[94] and bankruptcy and subsequent reorganization delayed the third launch to December 2020.[104] Since December 2020, OneWeb has launched 72 additional satellites from Vostochny, Siberia on 25 March and on 26 April 2021. On 1 July 2021, OneWeb launched a further 36 satellites, to take its in-orbit mega-constellation to 254 satellites[105] and making OneWeb the second largest satellite fleet in orbit.[106]

Flight No. Date/Time (UTC) Launch complex Launch site Launch vehicle Launch agency Number deployed Outcome
1 27 February 2019 [107] Soyuz Launch Complex Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana, France Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT Russia Roscomos 6 (test satellites) Success
2 6 February 2020 [94] Site 31 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 34 (first launch of operational satellites) Success
3 21 March 2020 [95] Site 31 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 34 Success
4 18 December 2020 [108][104] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
5 25 March 2021 [109] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
6 25 April 2021 [110] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
7 28 May 2021 [111] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
8 1 July 2021 [112] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
9 21 August 2021 [113] Site 31 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 34 Success
10 14 September 2021 [114] Site 31 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 34 Success
11 14 October 2021 [115] Site 1S Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russia Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
12 27 December 2021 Site 31 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Roscomos 36 Success
13 10 February 2022 Soyuz Launch Complex Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana, France Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT Russia Roscomos 34 Success
14 22 October 2022 [116] Second Launch Pad Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India LVM 3 India NewSpace India Limited 36 Success
15 8 December 2022 [117] Launch Complex 39 Kennedy Space Center, Merrit Island, Florida, USA Falcon 9 Block 5 United States SpaceX 40 Planned
16 Net January 2023[118] Launch Complex 39 Kennedy Space Center, Merrit Island, Florida, USA Falcon 9 Block 5 United States SpaceX ~40[118] Planned
17 2023[118] Launch Complex 39 Kennedy Space Center, Merrit Island, Florida, USA Falcon 9 Block 5 United States SpaceX ~40[118] Planned
18 NET February 2023[119][118] Second Launch Pad Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India LVM 3 India NewSpace India Limited 36 Planned

Total number of operational satellites: 462 as of 23 October 2022.[120]

Intended markets

In March 2021, OneWeb stated its market would be primarily to businesses, governments including defence, phone network operators and clusters of communities, rather than to individual domestic customers which Starlink primarily targets.[121][122] Users willing to connect were advised to contact their local telecom operator.[123]

Active internet services

In May 2021, OneWeb said that its then current constellation (218 spacecraft) as well as an additional 36 satellites planned to launch on 1 July 2021, would be ready to provide internet services to regions north of 50° latitude by the end of 2021. This includes the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada.[124]

The company's 648-satellite network was planned for completion by late 2022, with OneWeb making global internet services available at that time.[124] Owing to launch delays from Roscosmos (see below) the constellation is now expected to be completed in early 2023 following three launches early that year. [125]

Concerns

End-of-life concerns

With such a large number of satellites being added to the already crowded low Earth orbit, plans for handling the satellites once the operational life of each satellite is completed are an important consideration. Concerns about adding to the existing space debris problem have been expressed.[17]

With OneWeb satellites having higher orbits than the competing Starlink megaconstallation satellites (which will deorbit in ~5 years without action due to atmospheric drag), OneWeb satellites will not passively deorbit in a reasonable timeframe. As such, each OneWeb satellite has fuel allocated to be able to actively deorbit at its end of life.[126] OneWeb satellites are also equipped with an Altius DogTag magnetic grappling fixture, to make it possible for another spacecraft to attach and change the orbit of satellites whose built-in deorbit functionality fails, though there does not currently exist commercial services to carry out this active debris removal service.[127] The risk of a OneWeb satellite becoming a source of debris was determined to be <0.01, which meets NASA's Technical Standard.[128]

Interference with other Earth-bound transceivers

OneWeb competitor, satellite fleet operator ABS, has expressed concerns about the amount of electromagnetic interference that the OneWeb constellation could add to existing terrestrial transceivers.[129]

Russian security concerns

Vladimir Sadovnikov of the Federal Security Service (FSB) stated in 2018 that the FSB was opposed to OneWeb covering Russia, saying that OneWeb could be used for espionage purposes.[130] OneWeb's request for a frequency band was previously rejected by the Ministry for Digital Development and Communications, purportedly due to outstanding legal issues.[130] FSB also proposed increasing scrutiny on other satellite Internet equipment in Russia.[131]

Competition

Competition to OneWeb for producing smaller and lower-cost satellites, in general, is thought to come "from other makers of small satellites, thought to include companies such as Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp. and Britain's Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd." as of 2014.[20]

Amazon announced a large broadband internet satellite constellation proposal in April 2019, planning to launch up to 3,236 satellites in the next decade in what Amazon calls "Project Kuiper", a satellite constellation that will work in concert[132] with Amazon's previously-announced large network of 12 satellite ground station facilities (the "AWS Ground Station unit") announced in November 2018.[133]

As of June 2022, the major competitor is SpaceX's Starlink satellite network with around 500,000 customers. While OneWeb will only work with partner telephone companies,[134] SpaceX is also serving consumers directly.

Historically, earlier companies that have attempted to build satellite internet service networks and provide space-based internet connections have not fared well, as these services were hobbled by high costs which consequently attracted few users. Iridium SSC filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999, Globalstar did the same in 2002, and Teledesic suspended its satellite construction work in the same year.[20]

See also

References

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