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posted by spiraldancing on Tuesday February 04 2020, @09:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the It's-getting-awful-crowded-in-my-sky dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

For the better part of a year, SpaceX has gotten the lion's share of attention when it comes to mega-constellations and satellite Internet.

[...] But it was actually another company, OneWeb, that launched the first six satellites of its mega-constellation back in February, 2019. Initial tests of those satellites went well, the company said last summer. Now OneWeb is preparing for its second launch of 34 satellites on board a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for 4:42pm ET (21:42 UTC) on Thursday, February 6.

On the eve of Thursday's launch, Ars spoke with OneWeb Chief Executive Officer Adrián Steckel about the company's plans and how it will compete with half a dozen other firms looking at providing Internet from space.

[...] "Right now, we’re the largest buyer of launch in the world," Steckel said. "In the future, as we look to our next phase of deployment, we're willing to buy rocket launches from SpaceX, Blue Origin, or whoever."

OneWeb has taken a different approach than SpaceX in terms of how it plans to interact with customers on the ground. SpaceX has opted to offer direct-to-consumer services with the intention of selling user terminals to acquire satellite from space and essentially functioning as a new Internet provider. OneWeb plans to partner with existing telecommunications companies, Steckel said.

[...] It's a model the company believes makes sense because the right answer for getting regulatory approval and delivering service in the United States or the Philippines or Indonesia will vary, Steckel said. "We're going to be doing business with partners around the world," Steckel said. "Our style is not confrontational. We're using a different model. It's a big world."

OneWeb plans to offer its first customer demonstrations by the end of 2020 and provide full commercial global services in 2021.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by khallow on Wednesday February 05 2020, @04:08AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 05 2020, @04:08AM (#954039) Journal

    Why did you feel the need to follow up to a post which contained the substrings "dot COM" and "bubble" with a mention of the year 2000?

    Why do you ask? Just because you might know (and we still haven't established that you did know prior to the previous post!), doesn't mean everyone else reading this does. It's new, ok? Here's some more on that NEW history []:

    In the mid-to-late 1990s, there was considerable discussion of numerous large “constellations” of spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) that would revolutionize the space industry, lower costs to launch payloads to orbit, and provide worldwide communications on an unprecedented scale. Approximately ten companies with names such as Iridium, Globalstar, and Teledesic each aimed to launch and operate groups of 12 to 840 satellites, potentially “darkening the skies” with spacecraft. Most of these systems either went bankrupt or never got off the ground, either literally or figuratively.

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