Continuing its efforts to become a global provider of satellite communications services that can help bridge the digital divide, OneWeb has entered into an agreement with Telefónica that aims to boost connectivity in otherwise hard-to-reach areas in Europe and Latin America.
In a joint statement, the companies explained that under a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed through telecom operator Telefónica Global Solutions (TGS) wholesale subsidiary, OneWeb’s “efficient and high performance” low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites will complement Telefónica’s services in the markets where it operates by helping the operator provide connectivity services in remote areas.
Under this partnership, TGS’s role will be to promote OneWeb’s low latency cellular backhaul services which can be used to enhance the existing backhaul and support network upgrades to 4G/5G, plus provide back-up backup for critical sites and increased capacity for special events. . In areas where backhaul is not available, OneWeb’s connectivity will extend Telefónica’s mobile coverage and business connectivity.
According to the partners, their joint services will improve user satisfaction and unlock new OTT applications and services. For SMBs, the benefit will be in getting support and extension of their corporate networks, while large organizations, such as governments, telecom operators and ISPs, will benefit from the marriage. of Telefónica’s fiber optic network and OneWeb’s broadband services in rural and remote areas of Europe and Latin America. America.
“Our goal is to empower our customers’ businesses by connecting them to the world through innovative broadband solutions. By partnering with OneWeb, we can increase our portfolio by offering solutions that require low latency. Our experience will be critical when adapting the OneWeb solution to deliver enterprise, B2B and cellular backhaul services and help drive the adoption of critical business applications in the hardest-to-connect areas,” commented Julio. Beamonte, CEO of Telefónica Global Solutions, which manages the operator’s international wholesale, global roaming, multinational and US businesses.
Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said the satellite communications provider’s network has “a crucial role to play in delivering connectivity for the hardest-to-reach areas around the world, so we look forward to working with Telefónica to deliver improved Internet performance and availability to customers.”
UK-based satellite service provider LEO has been on a constant mission to bring connectivity to the world since emerging from bankruptcy with the help of the UK government and Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel as main donors. (See the Troubled OneWeb satellite system now wholly owned by the UK government and Bharti.)
In March, its constellation launched into orbit consisted of 428 satellites, representing 66% of its total fleet.
In late 2021, BT Group entered into what is believed to be a first global partnership with OneWeb to test the integration of LEO satellite services into the operator’s consumer and business units, building on an earlier agreement covering possibilities for connectivity solutions in the UK and beyond. .
Shortly after, OneWeb was also chosen by AT&T to improve access for the American operator’s business customers located in “remote and difficult geographical locations”.
The satellite communications provider has also partnered with Australian operator Telstra to bridge the digital divide in Australia and Asia-Pacific.
OneWeb has also brokered partnerships with New Space India, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization, alongside smaller vendors in Canada and the US state of Alaska.
– Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, TelecomTV