Full speed ahead for Mk 2 OneWeb system
October 20, 2021
By Chris Forrester
With more than half of the OneWeb initial plan for 648 satellites now in orbit, the company says it has allocated $350 million (€301m) to develop an upgraded Mk 2 version of its satellites.
OneWeb has 358 satellites in orbit including 36 launched on October 14th. OneWeb says all are operating nominally.
In November, OneWeb should start earning money with debut services launched into some valuable Northern markets (above 50 degrees North).
Massimiliano Ladovaz, OneWeb’s CTO, speaking at an European Space Agency (ESA) conference recently, said that a decision on OneWeb’s second-generation satellites would emerge during 2022 but that a high priority would be a Sat Nav-type positioning and navigation functionality.
OneWeb is planning for 5G connectivity as well as readiness and integration with the world’s 6G standard. Also in the mix is the supply of inter-satellite laser links.
However, key to these ambitions will be the participation of European nations via ESA and including the UK.