OneWeb’s plans to use satellites for digital connectivity and provide affordable internet access to all will have to address a few challenges that have earlier plagued such ventures.
OneWeb is a group of firms, including Airbus Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Salinas, Hughes Network Systems, Intelsat, Qualcomm Incorporated and Virgin Group. Bharti Enterprises has also acquired a strategic minority stake in OneWeb. The companies have pledged $500 million collectively.
OneWeb, which plans to start services by 2019, is looking to build a communications network with an initial constellation of 648 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. LEOs are satellite systems used in telecommunication, which orbit between 400 and 1,000 miles above the earth’s surface. They are used mainly for data communication such as email, video conferencing and paging.