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OneWeb to bring global satellite internet services
November 26, 2017, 1:30 pm
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OneWeb, the company that aims to bridge the digital divide by 2027 and bring affordable global internet services using a constellation of low-earth-orbiting satellites, announced last week that it had signed an exclusive contract with Hughes Network Systems to provide terrestrial support for its satellite systems.

OneWeb, which is backed by Virgin Group, SoftBank, Coca Cola, Bharti Group, Qualcomm and Airbus, announced an exclusive $190 million contract with Hughes Network Systems to provide some of the terrestrial infrastructure necessary to distribute its first internet connectivity services by as early as 2019.

“The start of production of the ground system is a major step towards fulfilling OneWeb’s goal of bridging the digital divide, leaving no one behind,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb, in a statement. “We are excited to deploy this essential part of our network as we ramp up to launch the first of our fleet early next year and provide service to every rural home in Alaska starting in 2019.”

The two companies began developing the ground network system two years ago and the deal calls for equipment to support satellite access points in gateway locations around the world — including purpose-built switching systems, outdoor modems and power amplifiers. With the contract in place, shipments will begin in the middle of 2018.

Incidentally, Hughes Network is the company that supplies roughly half of the market for satellite-based connectivity services and is the company behind internet connectivity on airplanes around the world.

 

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