Hughes, OneWeb join hands for Low Earth Orbit satellite service in US, India

By Kalpana Pathak
OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites. Services will begin this year to the Arctic region, including Alaska, Canada, and the UK. 

MUMBAI : Hughes Network Systems, which focuses on satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks, and OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company backed by Bharti, have signed a distribution agreement in the US, for enterprise services, the companies said on Friday.

"In India, the parties have entered into an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for a strategic agreement to distribute services to large enterprises, small and medium businesses, government, telcos and ISPs (internet service providers) in rural and remote parts of the country," OneWeb said in a statement.

Services will be offered by Hughes Network Systems, LLC, and Hughes Communications India, respectively.

“The future of connectivity depends on a worldwide network of multiple transports, including terrestrial, geostationary and Low Earth Orbit satellite services. OneWeb’s system enhances the Hughes portfolio of networking capabilities, introducing a low-latency option with global reach that complements GEO satellite capacity density and capability to meet our customers’ needs," said Pradman Kaul, president, Hughes, adding that in India the OneWeb services will help meet the tremendous backhaul and broadband demand.

To be sure, Hughes, through its parent company EchoStar, is an investor in OneWeb. It is also an ecosystem partner to OneWeb, developing gateway electronics and the core module that will power every user terminal for the system.

Hughes is also the prime contractor on an agreement with the US Air Force Research Lab to integrate and demonstrate managed LEO SATCOM using OneWeb capacity in the Arctic region.

OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites. Services will begin this year to the Arctic region, including Alaska, Canada, and the UK.

By late 2022 OneWeb will be offering its high-speed, low latency connectivity services globally. Service testing on the satellites already in orbit is under way, using gateways that Hughes is building for the network. Results are positive, including seamless satellite and beam handovers, high speeds and low latency, the company said.


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