OneWeb, a provider of satellite-based solutions to facilitate greater connectivity, has raised US$1.25 billion in new capital to accelerate the development of a global communications network.
The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2021, has now raised a total of $3.4 billion following the latest round of investments in the company, which was led by SoftBank Group, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies and the Government of Rwanda.
According to OneWeb, which has successfully launched the first of its satellites, the new system will offer high-speed, low latency connectivity all around the world.
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This network could also have major implications for the global supply chain, as the seamless access to broadband supported by OneWeb would enable the fast and reliable exchange of data between different logistics parties.
Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said: “This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition.
“With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation.”
Produced through a joint venture with Airbus, OneWeb’s satellites are set to ramp-up production at a new manufacturing facility in Florida, USA.
Over half of the world's population is unconnected. We are building the world's first global communications network to try and solve this problem. Connecting everyone, everywhere is our mission. Watch this space for more info ️#ConnectivityEverywhere pic.twitter.com/vbIm2z4af8
— OneWeb (@OneWeb) January 22, 2019
From Q4 2019, OneWeb will commence monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to provide global coverage for its new system.
Following a first phase of launches, OneWeb plans to add more satellites to its constellation in order to meet growing demand.
Greg Wyler, Chairman and Founder of OneWeb, made a statement: “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and this funding helps ensure our globally shared dream will soon become a reality.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the many supportive and forward-looking Governments, ISP’s, and Telecom Operators to help them broaden the reach of connectivity to connect people everywhere.”