OneWeb earlier this month successfully deployed 40 satellites for its connectivity network, which is expected to provide global coverage next year. The company already provides some services on its network, which is now about 80 percent complete with 502 satellites in low-earth orbit (LEO). Once the constellation is complete, Gogo Business Aviation will provide high-speed satcom connectivity globally in partnership with OneWeb, supplementing Gogo’s existing North American air-to-ground system.
The OneWeb launch was accomplished on a SpaceX rocket. SpaceX also plans to serve airborne users with its own Starlink LEO network.
Next year, OneWeb is planning three additional launches of satellites to complete its LEO network. Aviation services are expected to be available starting in 2024. OneWeb’s service will provide speeds “comparable with terrestrial broadband services,” according to Gogo. This will allow users to stream video, do videoconferencing, and use cloud-based business services.
“This launch is an immensely gratifying way to close out 2022,” said One Web CEO Neil Masterson, “bringing OneWeb another step closer to activating our coverage solutions globally and reflecting the shared ambition and collective goodwill that is driving the satellite communications industry. We are thankful for the support of other leaders in the space industry allowing us to quickly restart our launch campaign and are delighted to work with SpaceX today for our first-ever launch from Florida, where our satellites are manufactured.”