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posted by martyb on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the does-it-go-round-in-circles?-♬♬ dept.

Bankrupt OneWeb seeks license for 48,000 satellites, even more than SpaceX

SpaceX and OneWeb have asked for US permission to launch tens of thousands of additional satellites into low Earth orbit.

SpaceX's application to launch 30,000 satellites—in addition to the nearly 12,000 it already has permission for—is consistent with SpaceX's previously announced plans for Starlink.

OneWeb's application to launch nearly 48,000 satellites is surprising because the satellite-broadband company filed for bankruptcy in March. OneWeb is highly unlikely to launch a significant percentage of these satellites under its current structure, as the company reportedly "axed most of its staff" when it filed for bankruptcy and says it intends to use bankruptcy proceedings "to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company." Getting FCC approval to launch more satellites could improve the value of OneWeb's assets and give more options to whoever buys the company.

Previously:
SpaceX Approved to Deploy 1 Million U.S. Starlink Terminals; OneWeb Reportedly Considers Bankruptcy
OneWeb Goes Bankrupt, Lays Off Staff, Will Sell Satellite-Broadband Business


Original Submission

Related Stories

SpaceX Approved to Deploy 1 Million U.S. Starlink Terminals; OneWeb Reportedly Considers Bankruptcy 33 comments

SpaceX gets FCC license for 1 million satellite-broadband user terminals

SpaceX has received government approval to deploy up to 1 million user terminals in the United States for its Starlink satellite-broadband constellation.

SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for the license in February 2019, and the FCC announced its approval in a public notice last week. The FCC approval is for "a blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with [SpaceX's] non-geostationary orbit satellite system." The license is good for 15 years.

[...] One million terminals would only cover a fraction of US homes, but SpaceX isn't necessarily looking to sign up huge portions of the US population. Musk said at the conference that Starlink will likely serve the "3 or 4 percent hardest-to-reach customers for telcos" and "people who simply have no connectivity right now, or the connectivity is really bad." Starlink won't have lots of customers in big cities like LA "because the bandwidth per cell is simply not high enough," he said.

SpaceX's main Starlink constellation competitor is running out of money

OneWeb, the only pressing competitor facing SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation, has reportedly begun to consider filing for bankruptcy shortly before the London-based company completed its third dedicated launch.

OneWeb Goes Bankrupt, Lays Off Staff, Will Sell Satellite-Broadband Business 6 comments

OneWeb goes bankrupt, lays off staff, will sell satellite-broadband business:

OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy and intends to sell its business, bringing an abrupt end to the company's plan to offer high-speed satellite Internet service around the world.

OneWeb announced Friday that it "voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the [US] Bankruptcy Code," and "intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company." OneWeb made the decision "after failing to secure new funding from investors including its biggest backer SoftBank," largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times wrote. OneWeb also "axed most of its staff on Friday," the FT article said.

OneWeb previously raised $3 billion over multiple rounds of financing and was seeking more money to fund its deployment and commercial launch. "Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis," OneWeb CEO Adrián Steckel said in the bankruptcy announcement. "We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere."

The bankruptcy announcement came a week after OneWeb said it expected "delays to our launch schedule and satellite manufacturing due to increasing travel restrictions and the disruption of supply chains globally."

OneWeb Emerges from Bankruptcy, Set to Launch More Satellites in December 2020 7 comments

OneWeb exits bankruptcy and is ready to launch more broadband satellites

OneWeb has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new ownership and says it will begin launching more broadband satellites next month. Similar to SpaceX Starlink, OneWeb is building a network of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that can provide high-speed broadband with much lower latencies than traditional geostationary satellites.

After a launch in December, "launches will continue throughout 2021 and 2022, and OneWeb is now on track to begin commercial connectivity services to the UK and the Arctic region in late 2021 and will expand to delivering global services in 2022," OneWeb said in an announcement Friday.

[...] OneWeb previously launched 74 satellites into low-Earth orbits and said it plans a launch of 36 more satellites on December 17, 2020. The Friday announcement also said OneWeb plans "a constellation of 650 LEO satellites," but that could be just the beginning. OneWeb in August secured US approval for 1,280 satellites in medium Earth orbits, bringing its total authorization to 2,000 satellites.

Previously: SpaceX Approved to Deploy 1 Million U.S. Starlink Terminals; OneWeb Reportedly Considers Bankruptcy
OneWeb Goes Bankrupt, Lays Off Staff, Will Sell Satellite-Broadband Business
OneWeb Seeks Permission to Launch 48,000 Satellites Despite Bankruptcy
UK Government and Indian Mobile Operator Acquire OneWeb and its Broadband Satellites


Original Submission

UK Government and Indian Mobile Operator Acquire OneWeb and its Broadband Satellites 11 comments

British government and Bharti Global buy OneWeb, plan $1 billion investment to revive company

The British government and Indian mobile network operator Bharti Global placed the winning bid to acquire OneWeb, a broadband megaconstellation startup that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after running out of funding, OneWeb said July 3.

OneWeb said it has secured $1 billion in new funding — $500 million from the British government to "deliver first UK sovereign space capability," and another $500 million from Indian mobile network operator Bharti Global — to recapitalize its constellation effort.

OneWeb, in a news release, said the funding will "effectuate the full end-to-end deployment of the OneWeb system," but did not specify if that system is the original 650-satellite constellation the company was pursuing prior to bankruptcy. OneWeb has 74 satellites in low Earth orbit.

"This deal underlines the scale of Britain's ambitions on the global stage," Alok Sharma, business secretary for the British government, said in a separate July 3 release from the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. "Our access to a global fleet of satellites has the potential to connect millions of people worldwide to broadband, many for the first time, and the deal presents the opportunity to further develop our strong advanced manufacturing base right here in the UK."

UK looks to challenge Elon Musk's Starlink after winning bid for bankrupt satellite company OneWeb

The U.K. government is set to try and take on Elon Musk's Starlink after it was crowned the winning bidder of failed satellite company OneWeb at an auction in New York.

[...] The $1 billion-plus rescue bid was made through a consortium involving India's Bharti Global, which through Bharti Airtel, is the third-largest mobile operator in the world, with over 425 million customers.

[...] U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed the government has pledged to invest $500 million and take a "significant" equity share in OneWeb, which is headquartered in London. The stake is reported to be around 20%.

Previously: OneWeb Goes Bankrupt, Lays Off Staff, Will Sell Satellite-Broadband Business
OneWeb Seeks Permission to Launch 48,000 Satellites Despite Bankruptcy


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:13PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:13PM (#1000144)

    Learn to code.

    You will hear rumors that coders command huge salaries of at least six figures. This is a lie. The most you will earn during your coding career is zero. Free open source software is free and open source. Nobody will pay you to write code that everybody can take from you for free. You will die poor.

    You will hear rumors that coders are in high demand. This is a lie. There are zero coding jobs and there is no demand for coders. Computer science education and code boot camps are scams designed to waste your time and waste your money on false promises. You will die poor.

    You will hear rumors of people who claim to be employed as coders earning six figure salaries. This is a lie. These people are shills who give the illusion of legitimacy to the tech industry. These people are trying to trick you into believing that learning to code will be a lucrative investment. In reality your return on investment will be negative. You will die poor.

    The tech industry is based entirely upon fraud. If you are foolish enough to learn to code, if you are cursed to be genuinely passionate about coding, you will be unemployable for life. You will die poor.

    Learn to code. Die poor.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:26PM (#1000145)

      Tell that to Bill Gates.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:38PM (#1000150)

      This may be true if you ONLY know how to code. Most people need multiple skills in order to be employable.

      That said, when I switched from looking for to Python in my job searches, I got a large number of hits and even a few interviews. This is in flyover country.

      Obviously, your mileage may vary.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by looorg on Thursday May 28 2020, @02:53PM (4 children)

    by looorg (578) on Thursday May 28 2020, @02:53PM (#1000166)

    Seems like the last sentence here is the reason, pump up the company value for whatever potential buyer they have waiting in the background. If that is another company or just some kind of restructuring where the current board forms some new company and buy themselves or whatnot.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:02PM (#1000170)

      Yes - a massive golden parachute for the remaining stockholders (senior execs of course!). Just need a friendly govt regulator to backdate the check and stamp it through in time. Anyone fancy a trip to Barnard Castle?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:22PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:22PM (#1000175) Journal

      FCC could squash it, knowing the reason.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:39PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:39PM (#1000180)

        Not if Pai's brother's part of the buying group.

        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Friday May 29 2020, @04:58AM

          by deimtee (3272) on Friday May 29 2020, @04:58AM (#1000415) Journal

          You mean selling group. If he was part of the buying group he would wait until after purchase before inflating its value.

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by quietus on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:06PM (2 children)

    by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:06PM (#1000172) Journal

    It took us quite a while to realize putting chemical by-products and waste from manufacturing industries into rivers and streams ain't such a good idea.

    Now we're repeating that whole charade, for a pissing contest between companies with a dodgy business model, if any at that. And this is just US companies: the Chinese evidently want in on it too, and so, soon, will every third-world nation and billionaire with a dick problem.

    So, 42,000 and 48,000, makes 90,000 announced, for this year alone. We can't have less announcements next year, and the year after that, ofcourse: that would be a bad sign for the economy. So, roughly half a million of the damn things in about 5 years, a conservative estimate. And ofcourse, they'll have completely safe, efficient, and working, de-orbiting technology.

    What is it with the Silicon Valley crowd and their fanbois .. do you feel nervous when you can't tweet your so important opinion, for even a couple of days? Do you guys ever get outside, and simply watch the wind ruffle tree leaves? Study a bee visiting a flower, maybe? Can you still do that for longer than 5 minutes, without taking a pic?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @05:37PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @05:37PM (#1000208)

      Yep, this is depressing news.

      Thugh what is with your anger at "the Silicon Valley crowd"? As we've seen over the years this isn't a SV thing, it is the cultural adoption of convenient tech.

      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:29PM

        by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:29PM (#1000231) Journal

        I use the Silicon Valley crowd as a shorthand [term] for the belief that all technological progress is inevitably good, and all problems can be solved through technology; technological progress equates to human progress. It smells of a doctrine; the one that led to the collectivisation of agriculture and the Great Leap Forward.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:36PM (#1000233)

    The FCC, as a representative for the public resource, should be a major stakeholder in this bankruptcy.

    Before considering any new space or spectrum resources, there should be a few questions about the current resources.

    For the birds in orbit, what is the plan to keep them safe and making productive use of the resources they are using?

    For the un-launched allocations already granted, same question.

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