Startup with SoftBank, Airbus investment planning video constellation with several hundred satellites
A satellite startup that today announced SoftBank, Airbus, Bill Gates and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler as investors says it has plans to field a constellation of hundreds of satellites to provide global video of the Earth, but provided few details on how it will accomplish that goal.
Citing recent reforms that provide more time to orbit a new satellite constellation, satellite broadband-startup OneWeb asked U.S. telecom regulators to nearly triple the size of its authorized low-Earth-orbit constellation.
Broadband megaconstellations are expensive propositions, with SpaceX’s Starlink constellation expected to cost $10 billion or more, and OneWeb expecting to spend $3 billion. The actual cost could ultimately be higher.
OneWeb’s largest investor SoftBank expects to bring in several partners to help sell OneWeb capacity, including potentially other geostationary satellite operators.
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SoftBank is actively considering future investments in the satellite industry, including investments related to low-Earth orbit broadband startup OneWeb, the head of SoftBank’s merger and acquisition and corporate finance division said today.
A U.S. Federal Communications Commission requirement that developers of non-geostationary-orbit (NGSO) satellite systems provide full coverage of the United States to get market access has prospective megaconstellation operators pitted against each other.
EchoStar is not raising a new competitor by investing in and building technology for OneWeb’s low-Earth orbit constellation, a company executive said Nov. 10.
SpaceX and OneWeb say they are within months of launching the first satellites in their competing megaconstellations of broadband smallsats designed to bring internet to every corner of the globe.
WASHINGTON and MOSCOW — Five years ago this month, Intelsat ordered the first of what is now six high-throughput Epic-class satellites. That soon-to-be global network is now mostly in orbit, with the fifth satelli…
In contrast to the millions of cars and thousands of airplanes produced annually, satellites are produced in much lower numbers. Even OneWeb’s mega-constellation, doesn’t provide the scale needed to justify the upfront expense of automating assembly.
The OneWeb-Airbus joint venture tasked with building 900 satellites for OneWeb plans to keep its first production line in France running to build satellites for other operators.
Intelsat-33e, which took longer to enter service because of a broken thruster, is now taking longer than expected to fill with paying customers.