Telefonica expands broadband reach with OneWeb team-up

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has announced plans to provide connectivity to remote parts of Europe and Latin America as part of a collaboration with OneWeb, the satellite broadband firm part-owned by the UK government.

OneWeb’s constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites will complement Telefonica’s existing fixed and mobile networks in a move the duo claim will allow rural areas to access high speed, low latency connectivity. The network will also provide mobile backhaul, offering a backup for critical sites or providing additional capacity for special events.

Telefonica is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world - as well as the Telefónica brand, it also trades as Movistar, O2, and Vivo across Europe and the Americas.

OneWeb currently has a constellation of 428 satellites but plans a total of 650 to provide global coverage, bringing broadband to some of the most remote parts of the world and transforming consumer services, in-flight Wi-Fi, and industrial applications.

According to OneWeb chief executive Niel Masterson, the collaboration will allow the satellite company’s “unique network to provide connectivity for [some of] the hardest-to-reach areas globally”.

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