OneWeb dramatically cuts satellite plan

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During its bankruptcy last year, would-be satellite operator OneWeb requested permission to launch almost 48,000 satellites into orbit. That application was made in May 2020. Now, perhaps wiser heads have prevailed, and the overall number reduced dramatically by almost 85 per cent.

OneWeb, in a filing this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adjusted the 47,844 in its Phase 2 plan and asks the FCC to cut that number to 6,372 craft in orbit.

OneWeb, now backed by the UK government and India’s Bharti Global, says the new scheme demonstrates the commitment and vision of its new – and better financed – owners.

OneWeb is currently in the process of building and launching some 716 satellites of which just over 100 are in orbit. This 716 number are not included in the new filing and will not be affected. These satellites will all be orbiting at 1200 kms and the FCC has granted permission for 720 satellites in Phase 1.

“OneWeb expects this revised deployment plan for its Phase 2 constellation will enable it to achieve superior end-user throughput and spectral efficiency while reducing funding requirements and fostering OneWeb’s ‘Responsible Space’ vision,” OneWeb says in its FCC request.


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