Half of OneWeb’s LEO satellite fleet now in orbit; on course for 2022 launch

15 Oct 2021

UK-based Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb has confirmed the successful launch of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 358 satellites – over half of its planned 648 LEO satellite fleet.

OneWeb expects to deliver high speed, low-latency global broadband connectivity from mid-2022, and says it ‘is seeing growing demand from telecommunications providers, ISPs, and governments worldwide’. The company notes that it has raised USD2.7 billion since November 2020, with no debt issuance.

In October 2020 OneWeb was acquired by a consortium comprising the UK government and Bharti Global. The partners invested USD1 billion of new equity to help the company emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In September 2021 Eutelsat Communications confirmed the closing of its USD550m equity investment in OneWeb (announced on 27 April), securing a 17.6% stake. The company has since welcomed additional investment from SoftBank and Hughes Network Group.

United Kingdom, OneWeb