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OneWeb raises $1.25 billion

Capitalism in space: Following the launch of the first six satellites for its 650 satellite constellation to provide worldwide internet services, OneWeb today announced that it has successfully raised $1.25 billion in new investment capital.

…it has secured its largest fundraising round to date with the successful raise of $1.25 billion in new capital. This brings the total funds raised to $3.4 billion. This round was led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda.

The new funds, following the successful first launch of OneWeb’s satellites, enable the company to accelerate the development of the first truly global communications network by 2021.

…OneWeb’s satellites, produced through its joint venture with Airbus doing business as “OneWeb Satellites”, will ramp-up production this spring at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. Following the company’s successful launch of satellites on February 27th, OneWeb will embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history. Starting in Q4, 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 this first phase, OneWeb will add more satellites to its constellation to meet growing demands.

This puts OneWeb significantly ahead of everyone else, including SpaceX, in the race to launch the first space-based system for providing internet services. Their planned launch pace also illustrates why there is a flood of new smallsat rocket companies. They, and others, have a clear need for launch services, which presently cannot be provided by the existing launch companies.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

6 comments

  • eddie willers

    This is exciting news as a competitive OTT (over the top) broadband solution ought to muffle the only decent argument for a government travesty called “Net Neutrality”. People now say they can only get one (or a very poor second choice) service provider and so the gatekeepers are needed. Pshaw!

    This puts OneWeb significantly ahead of everyone else, including SpaceX,

    As they use to say, “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel”, owning your own rockets ought to close that gap pretty fast.

  • Jollster

    Rawanda? That’s weird

  • Jollster

    Sorry, typo. Rwanda

  • wodun

    As they use to say, “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel”, owning your own rockets ought to close that gap pretty fast.

    Doesn’t SpaceX have a launch coming up dedicated to their satellite constellation?

  • Dick Eagleson

    I think OneWeb is engaging in a bit of hyperbole. SpaceX not only got its test satellites up well before OneWeb, it is rumored to be planning a May launch of the first deployable production units – exact number of sats uncertain. If this occurs, it would be several months in advance of OneWeb’s Q4 plans.

    2019 is certainly shaping up to be Year 1 of the big LEO comsat constellations.

  • Edward

    Dick Eagleson wrote: “2019 is certainly shaping up to be Year 1 of the big LEO comsat constellations.

    I’ve been reading the word “megaconstellations” for these.

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