Airbus, OneWeb aim for new satellite era with first launch

OneWeb wants to build a constellation of hundreds of satellites that can deliver quick internet to consumers

OneWeb wants to build a constellation of hundreds of satellites that can deliver quick internet to consumers

OneWeb, a global communications startup company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere, today announced the successful launch of its first six broadband satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The race includes everyone from Elon Musk's SpaceX and existing satellite-based Internet providers Viasat (vsat) and EchoStar's (sats) Hughes Network Systems to dozens of upstarts like Swarm Technologies, Astrocast, and Sky and Space Global. This was announced this week by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

Groupe Secondaire St Pierre Nkombo will be the first school to benefit from the broadband satellite. Our enterprise customers demand that we stay at the leading edge of connectivity solutions and through this collaboration with OneWeb, we can further extend our service to installations in even the most remote locations, providing an unparalleled solution in terms of quality and performance. The company is backed by some of the major players in the space industry and finance, including Virgin, Qualcomm, Airbus and Soft Bank of Japan. The customer of the launch is the global satellite operator SES.

There's reason for skepticism of OneWeb's projected timeline, however.

OneWeb said it is already communicating with the six craft, which went into orbit via a rocket launched in French Guiana by private launch company Arianespace. It plans to roll out 650 satellites across the world to connect schools, hospitals and other basic facilities.

With its current family of launchers (Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega) and the future family (Ariane 6 and Vega C), Arianespace is perflecly positioned for the growth market of satellite constellations  including for navigation, telecommunications or Earth observation. The spaceport is used in the interests of joint European space programs. This is all part of the Rwanda Digital talent policy's drive to strengthen ICT capabilities in the country.

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The US company OneWeb wants to supply in a few years the entire world with low-priced, high-speed Internet, for this goal, a total of hundreds of satellites in space.

Half the world is unconnected.

"We are delighted to partner with the Rwandan Government and particularly the students of Nkombo". "We're going to connect lots of people who're not now connected".

OneWeb's mission is to provide connectivity for people everywhere and connecting schools has always been at the heart of its mission.

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