Japan’s media conglomerate SoftBank says it has signed a “business agreement” in order to “advance” OneWeb’s commercial services in preparation for the satellite operator’s high-speed, low latency global connectivity services.
SoftBank is a major $1bn+ investor in OneWeb (along with Airbus, Intelsat, Coca Cola, Bharti and others).
Details of the agreement are sketchy, other than SoftBank’s statement saying: “Leveraging SoftBank’s expertise, OneWeb and SoftBank will work together to execute the deployment plan and support end-user product development and build commercial partnerships.”
Six OneWeb satellites are already in orbit launched in February 2019. OneWeb formally opened its Florida production facility earlier this week, and plans to build around two satellites per day building up to a launch pattern of about 30 satellites per month and an eventual 650 satellites in orbit.
Demonstration services are planned to start in 2020 and full commercial services in 2021.