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March 22, 2022
UK based low earth orbit satellite firm OneWeb is on a tear with its dealmaking this week, signing partnerships of different types with SpaceX, Eutelsat and Telstra.
Today it announced a new distribution partnership agreement with fellow satellite operator Eutelsat, which will apparently allow the two firms to develop combined GEO and LEO ‘connectivity solutions.’ Eutelsat became OneWeb’s second-largest shareholder last December, and in a beautiful bit of corporate jargon the firm says this new agreement ‘showcases the synergies’ between the two firms.
“As a shareholder in OneWeb, we are excited to play a role in the success of this new constellation by incorporating OneWeb’s connectivity services into our portfolio of solutions,” said Eutelsat CEO Eva Berneke. “This deal showcases the scope for synergies between our two companies and opens up the potential of low orbit to complement our geostationary assets in the fast-growing markets of aero and maritime mobility, fixed data and government services, building on the development of 5G and cloud technologies that will generate low latency requirements.”
It was also announced today that Australian telco Telstra will build three dedicated teleports across Australia to provide satellite gateway services (ground based comms, essentially) for OneWeb in the Southern Hemisphere, as part of a ten year deal between the two firms.
The first teleport is in Darwin Tivendale, and is scheduled to begin installation this month with ‘go-live’ planned in July – which sounds like a spacey way of saying it will start working then. Two additional sites in Charlton Toowoomba and Wangara, Perth, should be completed later in the year. Each facility will apparently provide ‘turnkey ground station support’ for OneWeb’s fleet.
“OneWeb had exacting requirements from the outset, and we worked in close partnership with them from site selection through construction,” said Vish Vishwanathan, Vice President Wholesale & Satellite, Telstra Americas. “Teleports are complex sites involving access to secure and resilient infrastructure and on-the-ground expertise, which Telstra has provided to OneWeb throughout this project.”
This follows the news from yesterday that OneWeb signed a deal which will allow it to send up satellites into space again by using SpaceX rockets, following its decision to suspend all its upcoming satellite launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a spaceport located in Khazakstan and leased to Russia, due to the invasion of Ukraine.
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