OneWeb Satellites -- a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus -- has propelled satellite broadband into the next dimension with the opening of a facility that, according to the company, is capable of producing up to two satellites per day at approximately one-fiftieth of the cost of traditional satellite builders.
This latest stride in broadband satellite innovation arrives about 50 years after man first walked on the moon: In fact, OneWeb Satellites' factory is located only a few miles south of the Kennedy Space Center launch pad where NASA launched that "giant leap." When combined with reusable rockets and increasingly larger constellations of small, low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, the "high-volume, high-speed advanced satellite production facility" (as OneWeb Satellites describes it), continues to reshape the satellite broadband industry once dominated by a handful of companies.
"By producing high quality satellites at a fraction of the cost and schedule of traditional manufacturers, we are not only enabling OneWeb to connect the planet, we are making space dramatically more accessible to everyone," said Tony Gingiss, CEO of One Web Satellites, in a statement.
Secret on the Space Coast
Tucked away behind Merritt Island's canals and marshes is a state-of-the-art facility where a staff of about 250 people and assorted automation tools make satellites. (Source: OpenWeb Satellites)
At first, the facility -- located in Merritt Island, Fla., next door to the Kennedy Space Center -- will support OneWeb's construction of its constellation of 650 satellites. This will eventually scale up to 1,980 satellites to target global connectivity, according to OneWeb Satellites. The company announced it successfully tested six satellites in low-earth orbit earlier this month.
"With today's opening, we are one step closer to connecting the unconnected for the benefit of societies all over the world," said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, in a release. "As we gear up for more satellite launches at the end of the year, this facility will ensure we can begin delivering global connectivity in some areas as early as next year and globally in 2021."
At first, OneWeb wants to cover the earth with broadband, then focus on adding capacity to meet ongoing demands, the company said.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The cable industry took a major step in the battle for Gigabit broadband supremacy with the announcement of its 10G Platform vision. The key to realizing this vision hinges on leveraging the right access technologies and network architectures to provide the best balance of benefit versus cost.
One network path has the MSO embracing Next-Generation Hybrid Fiber Coax (NG HFC), which includes:
Distributed Access Architecture (DAA)
Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX)
Virtual Cable Converged Access Platforms (vCCAP)
Fiber-to-the-Home/Business (FTTH/B) is another network option, affording gigabit broadband scalability and 10Gbps service capability. How is an MSO to decide where which option works best and what to do now to prepare its networks for the onslaught of high-bandwidth residential and business applications?
During this webinar, Jack Burton, principal of Broadband Success Partners, outlines current and new access network architectures. Additionally, he will examine the facts and debunk some common misconceptions surrounding both fiber and NG HFC network deployment and maintenance.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:00 p.m. New York / 5:00 p.m. London
Wi-Fi is the foundation of the connected home for consumers; yet, it’s often a source of frustration. With the imminent release of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard – combined with a strong Managed Wi-Fi offer – service providers can reverse subscriber frustration while tapping into new revenue streams.
Key topics include:
What’s different about Wi-Fi 6 and why it matters to your subscribers
The importance of offering Managed Wi-Fi and its connection to Wi-Fi 6
How you can elevate your brand and gain a strong foothold in the home network.