Bharti group backed OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced that the company and NewSpace India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, have entered into an agreement that will help ensure OneWeb completes its satellite launch programme.
The first launch with New Space India is anticipated in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launches will add to OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites, 66 per cent of the planned total fleet, to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman, said: “This is yet another historic day for collaboration in Space, thanks to the shared ambition and vision of New Space India and OneWeb. This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network, as we work together across the Space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally.”
“We welcome the partnership between OneWeb and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), it’s a historic development and this will surely pave the way for a greater participation of private space players, resulting a boost to Indian space economy. This partnership has the potential to drive the attention of many international players towards India’s capabilities, leading to significant increase in our share in the international space economy which is just 2.6% currently and at the same time contribute to nation building and economic growth of the country,” said, Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt (Retd.), Director General, Indian Space Association (ISpA).
This launch contract follows a separate agreement between OneWeb and SpaceX to enable the company to resume satellite launches, announced in March 2022. OneWeb has already activated service with its network at the 50th parallel and above, as demand for the company’s broadband connectivity services continues to grow from multiple sectors and markets.
OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G.