OneWeb signs MoU with Kazakhstan
April 13, 2021
By Chris Forrester
OneWeb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kazakh government, along with what the satellite operator describes as “local partners”.
The agreement is with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry: national satellite operator Republican Centre of Space Communications JSC, National Company Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary and Ghalam LLP, described as a spacecraft component supplier.
OneWeb says the MoU develops OneWeb’s partnership with the Government of Kazakhstan which began in 2020 to support Kazakhstan’s ambition to digitise its economy and become a pioneer of the latest satellite communications technologies. The MoU encompasses several areas of cooperation, including use of OneWeb’s low latency, high throughput satellite connectivity platform to provide broadband to remote and hard-to-reach rural communities, building a ground station to provide connectivity to Central Asian countries and localisation of the supply chain for OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit satellites.
At the same time, OneWeb has now received its Certificate of Incorporation for OneWeb Kazakhstan Ltd registered in Astana International Financial Centre. This subsidiary company will facilitate the establishment of a Low Earth Orbit Centre of Excellence in the country and enable OneWeb’s service delivery across the whole of Central Asia. OneWeb always partners with local telecom operators who know the market and their customers and seeks to distribute its connectivity services to the private and public sector, including businesses, schools, hospitals and civil services across Eurasia.
The agreement comes as OneWeb’s CEO Neil Masterson and the company’s executive chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal are both in Kazakhstan to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
“Today, we can honour Gagarin’s legacy with a constellation of OneWeb satellites orbiting the Earth to bring connectivity to all locations where it’s needed. The Government of Kazakhstan continues to see the importance of bridging the digital divide and enabling the digitisation of its economy using innovative and modern satellite technology. OneWeb has pledged to work together to bring about these opportunities for the country,” said Mittal.
OneWeb says that it is planning demonstrations of OneWeb’s connectivity services in June in Kazakhstan to showcase how OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and user terminals provide high speed, low latency, seamless broadband connectivity.