Satellite Pioneer Unveils High-Speed Arctic Connectivity

Aurora Australis from the Space Station.  Satellite view. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

OneWeb, the world’s largest satellite communications network, has today announced the details of its Arctic high-speed, low-latency internet service in an effort to bring seamless connectivity to the world’s most remote areas.

According to a statement, OneWeb will deliver 375 Gbps of capacity above the 60th parallel North. With service starting in 2020, there will be enough capacity to give fiber-like connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes, planes and vessels, connecting millions across the Arctic.

The company says its satellites will be deployed significantly earlier and provide 200 times more capacity than planned systems.

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Furthermore, substantial services will start towards the end of 2020, with 24-hour coverage being provided by early 2021, supplying unprecedented blanket coverage to every part of the Arctic Circle.

Adrian Steckel, OneWeb CEO, said: “Connectivity is now an essential utility and a basic human right. Our constellation will offer universal high-speed Arctic coverage sooner than any other proposed system meeting the need for widespread connectivity across the Arctic.”

As well as already being a growing economic hub for many industries, the Arctic is also a pivotally important potential shipping route and has the potential to cut voyage times to a fraction.

In its statement, OneWeb says: The industry advancements will further the Arctic’s growth as a key commercial trade region by drastically improving the region’s safety and communications services, as well as boosting education, healthcare and economic development in remote communities.”

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