OneWeb, the Bharti Airtel-backed satellite internet services company, has announced the successful launch of 36 more satellites as part of its constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The deployment took place from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, aboard an Arianespace rocket.
With its latest launch, OneWeb has brought up the total number of satellites launched in its targeted full constellation to 394 – accounting for a total of 60% satellite deployment. The satellite internet constellation has a planned target of 648 total LEO satellites, which will deliver low latency satellite based internet services across the world.
The launch took place earlier today at 6:40PM IST.
OneWeb is one of a number of companies that are working towards initiating satellite driven internet connectivity across the world. Some of the most prominent companies in the industry include Elon Musk-backed Starlink, Jeff Bezos-backed Project Kuiper and Tata-backed Nelco’s satellite internet service – in partnership with Canadian company, TeleSat.
Starlink, interestingly, recently faced a setback in India after the Indian government’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urged the operator to stop accepting pre-orders for its services in the country. The decision came after a consortium of companies complained to government authorities to allege that Starlink did not have all necessary permits to accept bookings for its services.
In response, Starlink reportedly stopped accepting pre-orders, and later clarifications stated that the company had applied for all necessary permits to resume its bookings.
Satellite internet services are slated to grow in adoption — with a target of beaming down connectivity to areas which are difficult to be reached with wired, fiber connectivity services.
In India, a nascent group of private space startups are also tipped to start affordable launch services for LEO satellite deployments. Companies such as Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot Aerospace are expected to rope in clients from the satellite internet connectivity space.