OneWeb to launch 700 Airbus-developed satellites to beam internet from space
OneWeb Ltd, a startup founded in collaboration by Qualcomm and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has funded Airbus billions of dollars to develop 900 internet-beaming satellites. Through this world’s largest constellation of satellites, OneWeb visions to deliver underserved parts of the world with high speed, space-based internet in the coming years.
In 2018, OneWeb is planning to launch almost 700 of these satellites into the Earth’s orbit, which will get up there and deliver internet back to us on Earth. Rest 200 satellites will be retained on Earth as backup for the ones in space.
Each satellite being developed by Airbus weighs 300 pounds (150kg). According to Airbus, initial 10 satellites will be developed at its Toulouse facility in France, while the rest will be created in some undisclosed production facility in the United States.
Qualcomm or Virgin Group neither has disclosed the amount each would be investing in the project; but it is believed the project would cost over $2 billion.