Tom Choi, now running Airspace Internet Exchange but well known to the satellite industry from his time as founder and CEO at Hong Kong-based ABS, says that, despite his personal opposition to OneWeb, he is now concerned about the impact of OneWeb’s bankruptcy decision.
Talking to ViaSatellite, Choi said his opposition to OneWeb was based on technical, regulatory and logistical reasons. He said there have been plenty of investors putting billions into new non-geostationary schemes that were supposed to be “smarter” than geo-stationary systems. He describes some of these as being “arrogant”.
Choi argues that the new non-geo schemes have harmed the industry because end-use customers “got confused” and halted their Geo-stationary expansion plans. He said that these Low Earth Orbit (LEO) proposals were a bad idea whose time came and went more than 20 years ago, and asked “why build satellites when there were no affordable ground-receivers existing?”
Choi also posed the question that perhaps OneWeb might reemerge as SoftBankWeb because many of the OneWeb assets could have been pledged to SoftBank.