OneWeb brings its Ku- and Ka-band spectrum into use
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

OneWeb, a company building a global satellite-based communications network to deliver low latency and high-speed services, has brought its spectrum rights in the Ku- and Ka-bands into use.

To achieve this, the company’s satellites have been transmitting at the designated frequencies in the correct orbit for more than 90 days, enabling it to meet the requirements to secure spectrum bands over which it has priority rights under International Telecommunication Union (ITU) rules and regulations. These rights will now be confirmed as the UK administration, which has filed OneWeb’s satellite system with the ITU, will complete the required Notification and Registration process of the company’s low Earth orbit (LEO) network. OneWeb will now have access to more than 6 GHz of spectrum.

to go live with a commercial service with full global coverage by 2021. This year it launched its first six satellites in February, opened its Florida manufacturing facilities earlier in August and tested real-team video streaming in full high definition (HD) from space, achieving an average latency of 32 milliseconds and speeds of more than 400Mbps. Its LEO constellation will start with an initial 650 satellites in its first phase (to provide global coverage), eventually growing to 1,980 (to provide additional capacity). During the remainder of 2019, OneWeb will focus on launching more than 30 satellites per month to build its initial constellation.

“Spectrum is a scarce resource and the ITU plays a vital role in the global management for access. The harsh reality for anyone trying to make a real impact on global connectivity is that no matter how good your network is, success is not possible without the right spectrum. With our spectrum now in use, OneWeb has proved it can bring together all the elements required – in space, on the ground, and in between – to change the face of connectivity everywhere”, said Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, vice president of regulatory for OneWeb.

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