Advanced Television

OneWeb signs up BT for rural connectivity

June 28, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Mega-satellite constellation operator OneWeb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK’s largest telco BT to explore the provision of improved digital communication services to some of the hardest to reach parts of the UK.

A joint statement from the pair says that the “ground-breaking agreement” between them comes as investment in expanding modern, digital infrastructure remains a top priority for the UK’s economic recovery and development post-Covid.

OneWeb says its network has a unique capability to serve hard to reach communities and the work with BT will focus on how satellite technology might support improved capacity, mobile resilience, backhaul and coverage, including Fixed Wireless Access, in challenging geographic locations, as BT explores new options to enhance rural connectivity. As part of the discussions, the companies will consider opportunities to deliver OneWeb’s connectivity services from Low Earth Orbit to businesses and communities around the UK, as well as identifying collaboration opportunities to develop new services beyond UK’s shores for BT’s global customers.

OneWeb CEO, Neil Masterson, said: “This partnership is a huge sign of progress in the resilience and advancement of the overall telecom infrastructure in the UK. OneWeb’s network will be a vital means for bridging the last digital divides across the network and we are excited to be part of the solution with BT to expand the nation’s digital infrastructure.”

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT, added: “Our ambitious full fibre and mobile commitments have put BT at the forefront of efforts to expand digital connectivity across the UK. It’s clear that greater partnership is needed, both with Government and within industry, to ensure connectivity can reach every last corner of the country. Our agreement with OneWeb is an important step to understanding how that goal could be achieved in the future.”

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