Satellite services startup OneWeb is all set to launch its first constellation of six satellites that cost around several billion pounds to get it up and running. Once the entire constellation is launched there could be around 2000 spacecraft orbiting the earth. Other firms are also planning mega constellations like these but OneWeb has managed to make it true with an operational system that is on the verge of launch. This week its first constellation will be launched by Soyuz Rocket that is scheduled for takeoff from French Guiana.
Controllers of OneWeb are located at its headquarters in London and will be waiting to pick up signals once the satellites are launched and their most challenging task is to secure the exact frequencies needed to relay incoming network’s internet connection. If the pathfinders work as expected then OneWeb will have to begin mass rollout of other satellites that are part of the constellation by end of this year. To achieve that one may see Soyuz rockets launching every month with payloads of nearly 36 satellites each time as OneWeb has to put up 648 units in orbit to enable global internet coverage.
OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel stated that after its constellation is in place it will have nearly a ton of spectrum across earth. This technology will connect people in remote areas that are now struggling to connect to the internet as fiber cables do not exist in those regions. OneWeb will focus on connecting airborne planes, boats on the sea and schools in remote areas. The firm was the brainchild of telecom entrepreneur Greg Wyler who had earlier founded another constellation named O3B which now operates constellation of 16 satellites that now circle the equator at an altitude of 8000 kilometers. OneWeb is his grandest vision till date of dense network that is just 1200 kilometers above the earth.