Intellian Technologies’ headquarters in Pyonegtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Credit: Intellian Technologies

SEOUL, South Korea —South Korean antenna maker Intellian Technologies, a major supplier to British satellite broadband startup OneWeb, is planning to build its second manufacturing plant by May 2022 to meet increasing demand for user terminals for low Earth orbit broadband.

Intellian unveiled the plan Aug. 23, saying it will spend 30 billion won ($25.6 million) on building the new plant near the firm’s headquarters in the Jinwi Industrial Complex, Pyonegtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Its construction will begin in October, according to the company.

“To build the new plant is part of efforts to ensure a stable supply to OneWeb,” Intellian said in a statement. “We see an increasing demand for user terminals for low Earth orbit broadband as competition among satellite-based communications providers intensifies and their business grows faster than expected.”

The second plant, whose size is nearly 6,000 square meters, will house production lines for user terminals for LEO broadband and gateway antennas, according to the company. The existing first plant is in the company’s headquarters. 

When the second plant becomes operational, an Intellian official told SpaceNews, the combined production capacity of the two plants will be “about 2.5 times higher than present.” The official declined to give details.

Intellian is a major antenna supplier to OneWeb. The two have signed three contracts since 2019 — in August 2021, March 2021, and December 2019 — with a combined value of nearly 113.4 billion won ($97 million).

In July, Intellian opened its European headquarters and logistics center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, underpinning its commitment to the European market. The company also contributed to developing a briefcase-sized electronically steered user terminal called OW1, which OneWeb unveiled Aug. 24 during the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Park Si-soo covers space industries in South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries. Park worked at The Korea Times — South Korea's leading English language newspaper — from 2007 to 2020. He earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Korea...