Telstra and OneWeb’s Partnership: Providing Internet Access Even to The Most Rural Areas
The buzz in the digital industry is that low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites will revolutionize the delivery of Internet services.
A satellite constellation will create a connecting bridge to allow extensive coverage of mobile network. In this way, the Internet will be accessible in most rural of places.
Telstra and OneWeb have made an early move towards building a commercial relationship with testing underway on OneWeb’s network of LEOs.
Telstra is Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company and operates the largest mobile network in “down under” but also operate in over twenty countries outside of Australia.
OneWeb (Network Access Associates Pty Ltd) is a communications company that aims to build broadband satellite Internet services and is headquartered in London with offices in Virginia US, and a satellite manufacturing company in Florida. The OneWeb satellite constellation is a planned initial 648 satellite internet constellation which should be completed in 2022. Their stated aim is to remove barriers to connectivity that are holding economies and communities back from achieving their potential:
“A digital divide persists, with three billion people around the world denied access to reliable terrestrial infrastructure. Going digital is a stepchange that divides many more, on the basis of affordability, speed, reliability, and digital literacy. Rural or hard to reach communities especially cannot access the broadband connectivity (min 25Mbps) that others rely on for interactive, simultaneous communications at work, at school, for health, or for home.”
The two firms have entered into a MOU to explore new connectivity solutions in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
Telstra’s maneuver goes beyond mere network dominance since they also want to provide worldwide coverage for their users. Telstra plans to enhance the connection for their customers living in rural areas. The partnership with OneWeb will be the first step to providing high-quality and continuous digital connectivity nationwide. Telstra’s customers living in remote areas will now be able to evaluate use cases on OneWeb’s live constellation in Australia.
OneWeb launched 428 satellites out of 648 in the low earth orbit. The others will enter the atmosphere in the succeeding months.
OneWeb’s global coverage is currently ongoing. However, it should be fully available by late 2023. At that time, high-speed, low-latency connectivity services should be available in Alaska, Canada, the UK, and the Arctic region.
Nikos Katinakis, Telstra’s executive for networks and IT, stated, “LEO satellite connectivity provides our consumers, small business, and enterprise customers with a lot of exciting possibilities. It will cater those who need continuous coverage or extra redundancy – for backhauling to back-up for resilience, for IoT applications, for supporting emergency services, for rural broadband, and agritech.”
The partnership between Telstra and OneWeb will be the impetus to provide fast and constant Internet connectivity in Australia, particularly in outback areas. Using OneWeb’s satellite constellation and Telstra’s network technology, even customers from the most remote areas will now have access to high-speed network connectivity.
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