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posted by martyb on Monday November 30 2020, @07:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the good-luck-with-that dept.

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

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 Seeks Permission to Launch 48,000 Satellites Despite Bankruptcy 12 comments

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

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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30 2020, @09:28PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30 2020, @09:28PM (#1082562)

    Not sure why these guys would be at risk of bankruptcy; surely a preemptive approach to global politics (such as the Lend-Lease Policy [wikipedia.org]) would see the US .gov sponsor free Internet for the first million-or-three Chinese users ..?

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mhajicek on Monday November 30 2020, @09:52PM (5 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday November 30 2020, @09:52PM (#1082573)

      Oneweb wants their constellations at 1200KM altitude. At that altitude they'll have higher latency that Starlink, and their satellites will not naturally reenter at EOL. I seem to recall that latter bit was giving them trouble with gaining authorization.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Monday November 30 2020, @10:23PM (4 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday November 30 2020, @10:23PM (#1082584) Journal

        SpaceX originally planned to have satellites at 1100-1275 km, and they are still on the hook for that until their modifications are approved:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink#Constellation_design_and_status [wikipedia.org]

        The lower orbiting satellites may allow users to have higher upload speeds.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by mhajicek on Tuesday December 01 2020, @05:00AM (3 children)

          by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday December 01 2020, @05:00AM (#1082701)
          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday December 01 2020, @04:08PM (2 children)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 01 2020, @04:08PM (#1082841) Journal

            Very interesting.

            So Amazon is developing its own internet service satellite fustercluck.

            I wonder if development of this will happen at the same breakneck speed as that of Blue Origin?

            --
            I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday December 01 2020, @04:54PM (1 child)

              by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday December 01 2020, @04:54PM (#1082856) Journal

              It will happen at the same breakneck speed, but with a time lag since they need the rockets first.

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              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday December 01 2020, @06:18PM

                by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 01 2020, @06:18PM (#1082896) Journal

                I don't see a problem. It would seem that SLS will be ready to provide commercial launch services at $2 Billion per launch at about the same time as Amazon is ready to buy launch services.

                --
                I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
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