Sunday, March 29, 2020

OneWeb files for Chapter 11

OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a federal court in New York. The company said uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis derailed advanced negotiations might have fully funded the company through its deployment and commercial launch.

OneWeb said it intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.


So far, OneWeb has launched 74 satellites as part of its constellation, secured valuable global spectrum, begun development on a range of user terminals for a variety of customer markets, has half of its 44 ground stations completed or in development, and performed successful demonstrations of its system with broadband speeds in excess of 400 Mbps and latency of 32 ms. In addition, OneWeb’s commercial team has seen significant early global demand for OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency connectivity services from governments and leaders in the automotive, maritime, enterprise, and aviation industries.

Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, stated, “OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. So many people have dedicated so much energy, effort, and passion to this company and our mission. Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”

http://www.omniagentsolutions.com/onewebglobal

OneWeb prepares to launch its LEO constellation

OneWeb, which is planning to deploy a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites, secured $1.25 billion in new capital, enabling it to start mass production of satellites through its joint venture with Airbus. This round was led by SoftBank, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm, and the Government of Rwanda. OneWeb has now raised to $3.4 billion to date.

OneWeb said it will now "embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history." Satellites will be built at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. The first launch occured on February 27th.  Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. Further phases are planned.

"This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition," said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb. "With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation. Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Virgin, and Hughes.”

On the additional investment, Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Group International said: “OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network. At SoftBank, our aim is to invest in transformative companies at the leading edge of technology disruption. OneWeb’s potential is undeniable as the growth in data from 5G, IoT, autonomous driving and other new technologies drives demand for capacity above and beyond the limits of the existing infrastructure.”

OneWeb’s priority rights to a large block of globally harmonized spectrum and its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation design will enable a unique combination of high speed, low latency, and truly global service. OneWeb’s network will go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, enabling connectivity for rural communities and schools as well as for business and industries that demand seamless global connectivity solutions such as Aviation, Maritime, Backhaul, and Land Mobility. OneWeb’s customers will be able to develop and support a wide range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.

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