Briefing

OneWeb emerges from bankruptcy, plans internet coverage in parts of Canada by late 2021

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The London-based firm has scheduled its first post-takeover launch of 36 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for mid-December. “We will start making service available to regions above the 50th parallel starting in the fall of 2021—so this will include Canada,” spokesperson Katie Dowd told The Logic. It will launch full global services the following year. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In July, the U.K. government and Indian telecom holding company Bharti Global won a bankruptcy auction for OneWeb, paying a combined US$1 billion for control. The recapitalized firm will compete to connect Canada’s North via LEO with SpaceX, which received approval from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada this month, and Ottawa-based Telesat, with which the federal government recently finalized a $600-million agreement for access to its constellation. OneWeb had originally planned to be in service in Canada by early next year; Dowd said the firm doesn’t yet have any deals with local distributors. Analysts say it’s not yet clear there’s enough demand for broadband via LEO to sustain the number of players in the market or the investments necessary to get their constellations into space.