Advanced Television

Arqiva wins Musk’s Starlink services

March 24, 2021

By Chris Forrester

British broadcast distribution business, Arqiva, has been awarded the UK contract to provide ground station gateways for Elon Musk’s upcoming Starlink broadband by satellite service.

Arqiva will collect and send the Starlink traffic through its fibre network according to reports. However, Arqiva is declining to comment on the news.

There is more potential good news in that the UK government has indicated that Starlink – as far as its UK coverage is concerned – could be in line for a share of a new £5 billion ($6.9 billion) broadband development fund designed to supply high-speed internet access to underserved areas of the country. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that Starlink – and OneWeb – could benefit from the scheme.

Starlink already has some 1300 satellites in orbit and is fast expanding its international relationships with essential ground-service Earth stations to provide links to the orbiting system.

Arqiva’s telecoms and mast unit is now owned by Spanish infrastructure giant Cellnex Telecom. Arqiva/Cellnex is the largest wireless infrastructure operator in the country. Arqiva itself operates some 8300 cellular sites and is now handling 5G transmissions.

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