Just as the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company is set to launch 40 satellites with SpaceX to deliver global coverage in 2023, satellite operator OneWeb has signed a distribution agreement with global telco Orange to expand connectivity services across Europe, Africa, Latin America and other global regions.
Formed in 2012 with the aim of addressing the connectivity needs of communities that are under-served, OneWeb has always claimed that its satellite network has a unique capability to provide improved capacity, mobile resilience, backhaul and coverage, including fixed wireless access, in challenging geographic locations.
OneWeb said demand for its broadband connectivity services has continued to grow across telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, and governments worldwide. It expects to attain global coverage with a total fleet of 648 satellites by 2023 as part of its five to 50 mission to cover regions north of 50 degrees latitude, including the UK, Canada, Alaska and the Arctic region.
With the new partnership, Orange said it can offer a range of multi-orbital solutions complementing its experience in satellite connectivity to benefit small, medium and large enterprises, telco operators and internet service providers.
It said it will offer enriched connectivity, integrating OneWeb’s LEO technology to enterprise customers and telco operators in different regions of the world. OneWeb’s LEO technology will therefore complement existing services and enable connection to hard-to-reach areas which previously could not be served with an enhanced latency.
Orange added that it is confident that the high-quality, low latency end-user service experience provided by OneWeb services will increase user satisfaction and enable new applications and over-the-top services.
Other benefits seen by the partners include increased resiliency, and geographical reach for enterprise solutions and backhauling in remote locations across Europe, Latin America, Africa and beyond.
“This is an exciting partnership that will help improve and expand connectivity globally,” said OneWeb chief executive officer Neil Masterson, commenting on the deal.
“Orange’s market-leading position across several continents, coupled with OneWeb’s unique network and LEO technology, will help to bridge digital divides and ensure access to efficient, high-quality and reliable broadband internet is available to customers in Europe, Latin America, Africa and other locations across the world.”
Jean-Louis Le Roux, executive vice-president of Orange international networks infrastructures and services, added: “At Orange, we believe that satellite is a promising and complementary technology showcasing many recent innovations that will benefit enterprises worldwide and will accelerate the digital inclusion of populations within our subsidiaries in Africa and the Middle East. We are delighted to partner with OneWeb as it will allow us to continue deploying high-quality networks in all underserved parts of the world.”