OneWeb seeks £3B for GEN2 satellites that could support navigation

OneWeb is looking to raise around £3 billion to expand its constellation with second-generation satellites that could support navigation.

The British firm is part-owned by the UK government and currently has 428 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) at around 1,200km. By the end of 2023, OneWeb aims to have increased the size of its constellation to 648.

OneWeb is already able to provide speeds exceeding 100Mbps and with sub-100ms latency. While impressive, OneWeb can’t...

Vodafone working on satellite tech that can locate IoT devices within centimetres

Planet Earth as seen from Space.

Vodafone and Topcon Positioning Group are developing a new mass-market precise positioning system that will locate Internet of Things (IoT) devices, machinery, and vehicles with a greater degree of accuracy than using only individual global navigation satellites systems (GNSS).

Vehicles, scooters, and even robot lawn mowers can be securely monitored in real-time to within a few centimetres when connected to Vodafone’s global IoT network and using technology from Topcon which...

SpaceX and T-Mobile partner on “satellite-to-cellular” service

SpaceX is partnering with T-Mobile on an ambitious plan to offer “satellite-to-cellular” service.

Connectivity will be provided by SpaceX’s second-generation Starlink satellites in combination with T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G spectrum.

T-Mobile says the “vast majority” of existing smartphones will be compatible with the new service. If all goes to plan, customers should expect “near complete coverage” across the US, including territorial waters.

"Our...

US Air Force hands SpaceX $1.9M for battle-tested Starlink services

The US Air Force has awarded SpaceX with a $1.9 million contract for its now battle-tested Starlink satellite broadband services.

As part of the contract, the US Air Force will use Starlink to support operations at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. SpaceX will provide Starlink terminals and service access for both fixed sites and mobile users.

Starlink is currently designed for use at fixed sites. A new ‘Portability’ feature was launched earlier this year – for an...

FCC rejects Starlink’s bid for RDOF cash

The FCC has rejected Starlink’s bid for a share of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications.  Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.

“We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks.  We cannot afford to...

CMA launches probe into Viasat-Inmarsat merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a probe into the merger of Viasat and Inmarsat.

Viasat first announced its intention to acquire Inmarsat for $7.3 billion in November 2021. To no surprise, the proposal attracted plenty of attention.

The combined entities would operate a fleet of 19 satellites that are currently in service. An additional 10 spacecraft are under construction and planned for launch within the next three years.

The...

Eutelsat confirms OneWeb merge plan

French satellite firm Eutelsat has confirmed plans to merge with British low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite innovator OneWeb.

Eutelsat operates 36 geostationary (GEO) satellites, of which the first launched in 2000. The high altitudes of GEO satellites cover large geographic areas but have slow speeds and high latency.

LEO satellites – like those operated by OneWeb, SpaceX, and Telesat – require larger constellations to provide adequate coverage but support more...

Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales to take 5G into space

The Andromeda Galaxy.

Ericsson, Thales and Qualcomm Technologies plan to take 5G out of this world and across a network of Earth-orbiting satellites.

After having each conducted detailed research which included multiple studies and simulations, the parties plan to enter smartphone-use-case-focused testing and validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN).

The result could effectively mean that a future 5G smartphone could use 5G connectivity anywhere on Earth and provide complete global...

Viasat will provide in-flight connectivity for Virgin Atlantic

Global satellite communications firm Viasat has been selected by Virgin Atlantic to provide in-flight connectivity for its new aircraft.

Three of Virgin Atlantic’s newest planes, the A330neo (Airbus A330-900), are due to be delivered in September. The company ordered 14 of the aircraft to replace its A330-300s.

With a 64-metre wingspan, Virgin Atlantic says its newest aircraft will be “one of the most efficient aircraft in the sky and able to fly further and...

FCC grants SpaceX clearance to provide moving vehicle connectivity

The FCC has granted SpaceX provisional clearance to provide its Starlink satellite connectivity to moving vehicles.

Starlink has been delivering impressive broadband speeds to static ground terminals for some time, including in Ukraine.

SpaceX hasn’t been officially authorised to provide connectivity to vehicles while they’re moving. However, that’s not stopped some people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PDVURcvWeg

SpaceX hasn’t been shy about...