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Jersey, Channel Islands-based OneWeb is building a new satellite constellation of 720 spacecraft to orbit at 1200 kms, and girdle the Earth supplying high-capacity broadband around the planet.
Japan’s SoftBank is investing $1.2 billion in the $3.5 billion project, and the first batch of 10 satellites are under construction in Toulouse, France, by Airbus.
SoftBank’s chief Executive Masayoshi Son, speaking to investors and shareholders in Japan, and told them that OneWeb will give users throughput speeds of 200 Mbps on the downlink, and 50 Mbps uplink, Son added: “almost the same as optical fibre” according to a report in trade mag Space Intel Report.
Son also asked why anyone would need optical cable anymore? Son added that SoftBank’s involvement meant: “We are becoming the major shareholder of a company bringing another telecommunications revolution.”
OneWeb is expected to start a service in late 2019 or 2020.