Telefonica expands broadband reach with OneWeb team-up
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
One of OneWeb 428 LEO satellites OneWeb aims to put 650 satellites into Low Earth Orbit (credit: OneWeb)

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”.

Julio Beamonte, chief executive officer at Telefónica Global Solutions, added: ““By partnering with OneWeb, we can augment our portfolio by offering solutions that require low latency. Our experience will be essential when adapting the OneWeb solution to provide corporate, B2B and cellular backhaul services and help fuel adoption of critical business applications in the hardest-to-connect areas. We are focused on helping our B2B and Wholesale customers to drive transformational change in their business, and we believe our partnership with OneWeb will help us do that.”

Last year, Telefonica announced the creation of what it claims will become Europe's largest artificial intelligence (AI) consortium focused on the industrial sector.

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