OneWeb now has an arrangement via Letter of Intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to use the Indian-built, PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.
The non-binding Letter of Intent was unveiled at the launch of Indian Space Association (ISpA). OneWeb is among the founding members of ISpA, which strives to be the collective voice of space and satellite companies in India and will work with stakeholders across for the development of India’s space ecosystem.
OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites and has already placed 322 satellites into orbit. Services will start this year to the Arctic region, to include Alaska, Canada, and the U.K.
By late 2022, OneWeb will offer its high-speed, low latency connectivity services in India and the world. Service testing on the satellites already on-orbit is underway. The results are positive, including seamless satellite and beam handovers, high speeds and low latency. OneWeb and NSIL will expeditiously convert the Letter of Intent into a binding agreement after obtaining all necessary approvals from their respective Boards.
OneWeb will undertake their 11th launch on the October 14, with a further 36 satellites on board. In under a year, the company has passed the halfway stage of its first generation constellation with 322 satellites now in space
OneWeb Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said, “ISRO has built formidable launch capabilities and India is part of the select group of countries to have history of successful launches. OneWeb will be delighted to use ISRO’s proven platforms to fulfill its vision of taking broadband connectivity across the earth, oceans and sky. We believe this initiative will further the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of making India a key hub in the global space ecosystem and also boost the India-U.K. strategic partnership. We look forward to a deeper engagement with NSIL/ISRO over the coming years.”
Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, said, “We are delighted to have OneWeb looking into how our launch capabilities can help meet their global ambition to connect people everywhere. We are making tremendous progress and India is advancing its space capabilities and we look forward to working together.”