Hughes Network Systems, LLC, the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, and OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, announced on 9 March 2020 that Hughes has become a worldwide distribution partner for OneWeb.
OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will expand Hughes service offerings and ensure its customers can access low-latency, high-speed connectivity, wherever they are. Applications will include enterprise and government networking, cellular backhaul and community Wi-Fi hotspots.
“We are entering a new era of global connectivity demand that can only be fulfilled by a mix of data transport services, including terrestrial, geostationary and Low Earth Orbit satellites,” said Pradman Kaul, president, Hughes. “OneWeb complements our service portfolio with a truly global coverage, low-latency option that will enable our customers to meet their end users’ needs for connectivity everywhere.”
The new agreement expands an already successful relationship between the two companies. Hughes is an investor, through its parent company EchoStar, and an ecosystem partner to OneWeb, helping to develop essential ground network technology for OneWeb’s LEO system.
OneWeb works with carefully selected distribution partners in each of its core markets, providing new business and expansion opportunities through the low latency, global, high throughput attributes of OneWeb’s network.
“Connectivity is only truly valuable when it delivers the user experience that customers need, and in today’s fast-moving digital economy, businesses and civil government organisations need high quality, continuous internet access wherever they are,” said Adrian Steckel, CEO, OneWeb. “I’m delighted that Hughes is joining OneWeb on our mission to deliver this vision. Hughes is already an important investor and an invaluable technology partner, and I look forward to working together to bring OneWeb’s pioneering technology to markets around the world.”
OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 650 LEO satellites. By late 2021, OneWeb will be offering low latency services globally, with the same capacity over the water, in the air, in previously unconnectable places, and everywhere else.
Service testing on the satellites already in orbit is underway, using gateways that Hughes is building for the network. Results are positive, including seamless satellite and beam handovers, high speeds and low latency.
The gateways feature multiple tracking antennas to support operation and handoff of high-speed user traffic to and from the LEO satellites, and can handle up to 10,000 terminal hand-offs per second – a technological and engineering breakthrough. Every OneWeb terminal, whether for fixed or mobile services, will incorporate a core module, including modem, developed and manufactured by Hughes.