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IndustrySatellite Internet access
PredecessorWorldVu Satellites
HeadquartersLondon, England, U.K.[1]
McLean, Virginia, United States
Key people

OneWeb, formerly known as WorldVu Satellites,[2][3] is a global communications company founded by Greg Wyler. The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom and McLean, Virginia, United States[1][4] with offices in Florida, California, and more.[5] OneWeb commenced launches of the OneWeb satellite constellation, a network of more than 650 low Earth orbit satellites, on February 27, 2019.[6]

Its intended goal is to provide internet services to "everyone, everywhere" delivering much needed connectivity to rural and remote places as well as to a range of markets including aero, maritime, land mobility, cellular backhaul.


The company was founded in 2012 under the name WorldVu,[2] based in Britain's Channel Islands.[7] OneWeb secured $500 million in funding including launch deals with Virgin Galactic and Arianespace in 2015.[8][9]

In June 2015, OneWeb entered a deal with Airbus Defence and Space for the construction of its broadband Internet satellites after a competition among U.S. and European manufacturers.[10]

In December 2016, OneWeb raised $1 billion from SoftBank Group Corp. and $200 million from existing investors.[11][12] In July 2016, one year after the initial announcement, OneWeb stated they were on schedule.[13]

In February 2017, OneWeb announced that it expected to sell all of its capacity by launch time, yet the only announced capacity sold was for a joint Gogo and Intelsat venture. Wyler announced he was considering nearly quadrupling the size of the satellite constellation by adding 1,972 additional satellites that it has priority rights to.[11] With the original capital raise of $500 million in 2015, plus the $1 billion investment of SoftBank in 2016, previous "investors committed to an additional $200 million, bringing OneWeb’s total capital raised to $1.7 billion."[11]

A merger arrangement with Intelsat that had been in negotiations during May 2017 collapsed in June and did not go forward.[14]

On February 27, 2019, OneWeb successfully launched its first six satellites into low Earth orbit from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana using a Soyuz-2 rocket.[15] The same day OneWeb announced that it signed its first two client agreements marking the beginning of its commercialization.[16] On March 18, 2019, OneWeb announced it had secured $1.25 billion in funding following a successful first launch.[17]

By August 2019, the company had 6 of its satellites broadcasting at the right frequencies for 90 days, meeting the “use-it-or-lose-it” spectrum conditions set by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union.[18] This secured the vital rights OneWeb needed to operate its global satellite broadband network.[7]


OneWeb will launch 30-36 satellites a month[19] to create an initial constellation of 650 satellites. The satellites operate in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). OneWeb chose an altitude of 1,200 kilometers for its satellites because there is a minimum existing population of satellites and debris at that altitude.[20]

Like existing LEO based communications satellite constellations, OneWeb’s satellites are closer to Earth and will therefore provide much lower transmission delays than geostationary satellite broadband services[18]. OneWeb plans to provide 10 times the bandwidth and one-tenth of the latency of existing geostationary satellites.[21]

July 22, 2019 marked the grand opening of OneWeb’s new factory in Space Florida’s Exploration Park on Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral.[22] The factory is a joint venture with Airbus and produces two satellites a day.[23] The satellites are programmed to detect the end of their life span after 5-7 years in orbit, and dismantle themselves from space and burn up in the atmosphere as they descend towards Earth.[22]

Responsible space[edit]

In June 2019, OneWeb rolled out its initiative Responsible Space to outline the specific approaches it plans to take to promote sustainability and safe operations in space.[20] Responsible Space covers design and operational practices, including disposal of a satellite within 5 years of the end of its mission; developing an “ecosystem” within the space industry that supports sustainability; and collaboration with other space operators.[20] As one example, OneWeb plans to include a grapple fixture on its satellites so that a third-party satellite could grab it and tug it out of orbit, should the satellite prove non-responsive.[20]


  1. ^ a b OneWeb (8 March 2018). "OneWeb Finalizes Executive Team Appointments Leading Up to the Launch of Global Constellation and Services". PR Newswire. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "OneWeb Announces Plans to Launch a New Satellite Constellation to Bring High-Speed Internet to Underserved Areas Around the World". PR Newswire. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Virgin, Qualcomm Invest in OneWeb Satellite Internet Venture". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  4. ^ "£18m for OneWeb satellite constellation to deliver global communications". UK Space Agency. 2019-02-18.
  5. ^ "SoftBank to invest $1 billion in U.S. venture OneWeb as part of $50 billion pledge". Reuters.
  6. ^ Hanneke, Weitering (2019-02-27). "Soyuz Rocket Will Launch the 1st OneWeb Satellites Today: Watch It Live!". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  7. ^ a b "WorldVu, a Satellite Startup Aiming To Provide Global Internet Connectivity, Continues To Grow Absent Clear Google Relationship". 3 September 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Google-backed Global Broadband Venture Secures Spectrum for Satellite Network". SpaceNews. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  9. ^ "OneWeb Wins $500 Million in Backing for Internet Satellite Network". NBC News. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  10. ^ Clark, Stephen. "OneWeb selects Airbus to build 900 Internet satellites | Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  11. ^ a b c "OneWeb weighing 2,000 more satellites -". 24 February 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ FORTUNE. "Japan's SoftBank Invests $1 Billion in Satellite Startup OneWeb". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "OneWeb says no steam lost despite Intelsat merger unravelling -". 1 June 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  15. ^ "OneWeb makes history as first launch mission is a success". OneWeb. 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  16. ^ "OneWeb Announces First Two Client Agreements - Start of Commercial Network Commercialisation". OneWeb. 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  17. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  18. ^ a b SSeal, Thomas. "OneWeb Claims a Win in Internet Space Race Against Musk and Bezos". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
  19. ^ "LEO constellation operators OneWeb, Iridium announce collaboration". 2019-09-17. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
  20. ^ a b c d "Can satellite megaconstellations be responsible users of space?". 2019-09-03. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  21. ^ "Norway's autonomous ships point to new horizons". Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  22. ^ a b "OneWeb Satellite Opens 85m Production Facility". Bizjournals. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  23. ^ Nimmo, Jamie (2019-08-10). "Adrian Steckel: The rocketman who'll launch 34 satellites every MONTH". Mail Online. Retrieved 2020-01-10.

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