• OneWeb confirms a total of $3.4bn in funding
  • 30+ satellites to launch in Q4 2019
  • Mega-constellation promises “game-changing mobility”

After the launch of six satellites last month, OneWeb has secured its largest fundraising round to date with a total of $1.25 billion in new capital.

One web s greg wyler, founder of one web shows off his receiver antenna

OneWeb founder Greg Wyler 

This round of funding was led by SoftBank Group, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies and the Government of Rwanda and has affirmed OneWeb’s plan to accelerate its mission to bring connectivity to “everyone, everywhere”.

OneWeb chief executive Adrián Steckel said: “This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition.

“With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation.”

Steckel confirmed the global communications company is now in a position to move beyond the planning and development stage to the deploy the full constellation of low orbiting satellites.

He added: “Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc, Virgin and Hughes.”

A total of $3.4 billion has been raised in funding for the mass production of satellites and OneWeb’s mission to connect the globe by 2021 by removing geographical and speed barriers.

It claims its satellite network will deliver high speed, low latency, seamless broadband access, everywhere on Earth.

OneWeb chairman and founder Greg Wyler added: “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and this funding helps ensure our globally shared dream will soon become a reality.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the many supportive and forward-looking governments, ISP’s, and telecom operators to help them broaden the reach of connectivity to connect people everywhere.”

OneWeb has confirmed its joint venture with Airbus to produce its satellites as the largest satellite campaign in history and it will “ramp-up production this spring”.

Starting in the final quarter of 2019, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage.

After the successful completion of the first phase, OneWeb will add more satellites to its constellation to meet growing demands.

OneWeb’s mission is a step closer with this new funding and the company claims its satellite network will offer “game-changing mobility solutions,” specifically for industries that rely on global connectivity.

OneWeb’s network is expected to provide services to billions of people and will support the emerging digital economy and advanced mobile application needs.

OneWeb has satellite operation centres in Virginia and in London to support the deployment of the system and has installed ground stations in Italy, Norway, and Canada, with more on the way.

Grupo Salinas founder and chairman Ricardo Salinas added: “I have worked for over 20 years to bring network access to people throughout Mexico and Latin America and have seen first-hand the power of connectivity to change and improve lives.

“OneWeb will have the ability to reach places that have previously been impossible to connect. We are proud to be supporting Adrian and the entire OneWeb team and are looking forward to creating new opportunities for people everywhere.”