OneWeb will today start producing the first of its massive fleet of almost 700 satellite. The factory, to be officially opened today, is itself is a joint-venture between OneWeb and Airbus Space and will utilise some of the skills and experiences achieved in the production earlier this year of a batch of 10 satellites at the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France.
OneWeb, backed by amongst others Japan’s media fund SoftBank, says that the factory has the “capability to produce high-quality satellites at an unprecedented cost, standard, and speed that wasn’t previously possible.”
OneWeb, in a Tweet, reminded everyone that its goal is to “bring transformative internet connectivity” to everyone, everywhere.
The first batch of six OneWeb satellites are operating extremely well, and managing a throughput of 400 Mb/s and just 32 milliseconds average latency, which is near-spectacular. The July 11th tests were carried out to and from Seoul, South Korea and included ‘full 1080’ HD transmissions and included a YouTube streamed video.
OneWeb says it’s on track toward creating “a fully functioning global constellation in 2021 and delivering partial service beginning as early as 2020”. The technology test described by OneWeb involved six OneWeb satellites that were launched in February. OneWeb says its commercial network will start with an initial 650 satellites and grow up to 1,980 satellites.
OneWeb’s satellites will be launched at a rate of 30-36 per month, starting in December 2019.