Virgin, Qualcomm back new satellite constellation
January 15, 2015
By Chris Forrester
Virgin Group and telecom giant Qualcomm are putting cash into Greg Wyler’s WorldVu scheme to launch a new constellation of 648 satellites. WorldVu is based in Jersey, Channel Islands. Wyler was one of the founders of O3b, a Mid-Earth constellation which already has 12 satellites in orbit.
Wyler’s concept sees WorldVu Satellites placing the constellation into Low Earth Orbit and providing fast Internet and broadband access to customers on the Earth’s surface below. The constellation’s orbits would be between 800-950 kms.
WorldVu was last February reported to be working with internet giant Google on the plan which at that time was said to comprise up to 1600 satellites.
Reportedly Richard Branson’s Virgin Group will help fund – and launch – the satellites. Branson, as well as Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs, would join the WorldVu board.
In November 2014 WorldVu issued Requests For Proposals for the supply of satellites, each weighing 125 kgs.