Telstra is building dedicated teleports across Australia to provide satellite gateway services for OneWeb in the Southern Hemisphere. Credit: Telstra

WASHINGTON – Australian communications company Telstra announced plans March 22 to build and maintain three dedicated teleports to provide satellite gateway services in the Southern Hemisphere for OneWeb’s broadband constellation.

The teleports, spread across Australia, are being built as part of a 10-year agreement between Telstra and OneWeb announced at the Satellite 2022 conference.

Satellite constellation operators continue to forge ties with telecommunications companies that own and operate terrestrial and subsea assets, including fiber networks, IP backbones and data centers.

The first OneWeb teleport, scheduled to begin operations in July, is located in Darwin Tivendale. Telstra plans to complete work on two additional sites in Charlton Toowoomba and Wangara, Perth, Western Australia later this year. Each facility is designed to provide turnkey ground station support for OneWeb’s growing fleet of low-earth orbit satellites.

“OneWeb had exacting requirements from the outset, and we worked in close partnership with them from site selection through construction,” Vish Vishwanathan, Telstra Americas vice president for wholesale and satellite, said in a written statement. “Teleports are complex sites involving access to secure and resilient infrastructure and on-the-ground expertise, which Telstra has provided to OneWeb throughout this project.”

OneWeb has 428 satellites in orbit, about two-thirds of its constellation. For now, OneWeb is providing coverage above the 50th parallel North, reaching areas in Alaska, Canada and the Arctic that often lack broadband.

“Low Earth Orbit satellite technology is transforming the global connectivity landscape, not only by creating new business opportunities, but also giving more businesses, communities and governments the internet access they need for progress,” Michele Franci, OneWeb chief of delivery and operations, said in a statement. “More connectivity options benefit everyone and our approach in establishing strategic partnerships with experienced providers like Telstra is core to how we deliver the OneWeb mission.”

Earlier this month OneWeb and Telstra announced a memorandum of understanding to look at ways to improve digital connectivity for Telstra customers in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

“We see lots of opportunities for our consumer, small business and enterprise customers using LEO satellite connectivity – from backhaul to back-up for resiliency, from internet of things to supporting emergency services, from home broadband to supporting agritech,” Andrew Penn, Telstra CEO said in a statement.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...