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...

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...

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...

UK Ministry of Defence picks Globalstar to safeguard RAF personnel

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) will use Globalstar’s SPOT Gen4 satellite GPS messengers to safeguard Royal Air Force (RAF) Force Protection personnel during training.

Force Protection is the RAF’s ground fighting element that specialises in controlling the ground to ensure control of the air. Globally renowned, Force Protection operates both at home and overseas to ensure the safety of aircraft and personnel.

Due to the various situations in which they can be...

Southwest Airlines picks Viasat for in-flight WiFi

Southwest Airlines has announced that it will use connectivity from satellite firm Viasat for in-flight WiFi services.

The airline says that all new aircraft deliveries from this fall will be fitted with Viasat’s next-generation Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity (IFC) system.

Viasat’s next-generation system will provide speeds that are typically greater than 20Mbps. With those speeds, customers will be able to stream content, watch live television, access...

Viasat’s satellites in Europe were taken offline by Kremlin-associated malware

A satellite broadband outage impacting thousands of customers in Ukraine and across Europe was the result of malware linked to the Russian government.

The outage occurred on 24 February 2022. That date has sadly gone down in history as the day Russia decided to launch its invasion of Ukraine—causing tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, displacing around 6.5 million people within the country, and leading to an estimated 4.1 million refugees.

Given the timing, the...

OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches after Roscosmos snub

OneWeb is turning to rival SpaceX to launch its LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites after Russian space agency Roscosmos snubbed the British firm.

A rocket carrying 36 of OneWeb’s satellites was due to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome earlier this month.

In the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Roscosmos refused to launch the satellites unless OneWeb accepted two demands—for the British government to sell its stake in the firm, and to guarantee they will not...