900 Satellites Tipped To Deliver Low Cost 5G Right Across Australia
OneWeb, the low orbiting Satellite Company which Softbank tipped additional dollars into this week is currently running a ruler over the Australian market with a view to delivering low cost 3G, 4G and 5G to rural and metropolitan areas where Telstra and NBN dominates.
The Company that Softbank invested $1.3 Billion dollars into in 2015, is currently producing 900 satellites which will circle the earth they will be able to deliver network coverage across all of Australia. The satellites are due to be fully launched by next year.
Small, low-cost user terminals as well as enabled handsets will talk to the satellites in the sky, and emit 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi to the surrounding areas, providing high-speed access wherever you are in Australia.
The Company is believed to have held discussions with one of the major carriers in Australia with a view to also getting access to their current tower network so that bandwidth can be delivered to consumers.
Because OneWeb’s satellites are low orbiting they will be closer to the earth allowing for better web performance so that someone in the far North of Australia could watch a grand final in real time with no latency.
OneWeb’s constellation of satellites logically interlock with each other to create a coverage footprint over the entire world.
Alex Clavel, managing director at SoftBank, said the Japanese tech giant, is “very actively looking at new opportunities for OneWeb,” as well as “new opportunities throughout the smallsat space, and advances in manufacturing and communications.”
OneWeb is building a first-generation constellation of 900 high-throughput, Ku-band satellites for global internet connectivity, with the first 10 satellites launched in May on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket. Service is scheduled to begin in 2019.
“OneWeb for us is more about delivering broadband than it is about being a satellite company,” he said. “We like the satellite space, for us though, we aren’t a pure deep satellite investor.”
OneWeb partners “are helping around every facet of the business where we are trying to innovate,” he said, listing as examples Qualcomm on chipsets, Hughes on user terminals and Virgin Group on space launch.
Those companies, along with Airbus, Intelsat, Coca-Cola, Bharti Enterprises and Totalplay Telecommunications, all participated in OneWeb’s $500 million capital raise in 2015.