SpaceX will launch the remaining OneWeb satellites. OneWeb is not directly competing with SpaceX Starlink for providing satellite communications.
The satellites in the OneWeb constellation are approximately 150 kg (330 lb) in mass. This is half of the mass of the latest Starlink satellites. The 648 operational satellites are to operate in 12 near polar orbit planes at 1,200 km (750 mi) altitude, at 86.4° orbital inclination. The first-generation satellites do not have inter-satellite data links, so will only provide a user service when also in the range of a gateway ground station.
The satellites will provide user service in the Ku-band, communicating in the microwave range of frequencies in the 12–18 GHz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Links to gateway ground stations will be in the Ka-band. The satellites use a technique called “progressive pitch” in which the satellites are slightly turned to avoid interference with Ku-band satellites in geostationary orbit. The user terminal antenna on the ground will be a phased array antenna measuring approximately 36 by 16 cm (14.2 by 6.3 in) and will provide Internet access at 50 megabits/second downlink bandwidth
In March 2021, OneWeb stated its market will be primarily to businesses, governments including defence, phone network operators and clusters of communities, rather than to individual domestic customers which its competitor Starlink primarily targets. The users willing to connect were advised to contact their local telecoms for additional info.
The OneWeb satellite constellation is a planned initial 648-satellite constellation with completion in 2022-23 with a goal to provide global satellite Internet broadband services to people everywhere, starting in 2021. They have launched 428 satellites. They were using the Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat-M rockets provided by Roscosmos. The war in Ukraine has resulted in the suspension of those launches.
On 21 March 2022, OneWeb announced that it had signed a launch agreement with United States launch provider SpaceX to launch the remaining satellites on Falcon 9 rockets, with the first launch expected no earlier than summer 2022.
Dylan Browne, president of OneWeb’s government business unit, told SpaceNews in March 2020 that he expects community user terminals to cost between $1,000 to $1,500, which could be used as Wifi hotspots for cafes and similar businesses.
We are pleased to announce that we have entered into a launch agreement with @SpaceX that will enable OneWeb to resume satellite launches.
The first launch with SpaceX is anticipated later this year.
— OneWeb (@OneWeb) March 21, 2022
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.