Telstra and OneWeb are progressing towards building a commercial relationship with testing underway on OneWeb’s network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
The joint testing program, which started in the UK on OneWeb’s live constellation, has now moved to Australia where use cases that improve connectivity for Telstra’s most remote customers will be tested in local conditions.
Telstra and OneWeb have also signed a Letter of Intent to guide their collaboration and will work together over the coming months to finalise the detailed scope of a commercial agreement.
“Telstra is excited to be working with OneWeb to explore new options for providing high-quality and continuous coverage across the country to boost digital connectivity, particularly for communities in remote and regional Australia,” Telstra Group Executive, Networks and IT, Nikos Katinakis said.
“LEO satellite connectivity creates lots of interesting opportunities for our consumer, small business and enterprise customers – especially those that require continuous coverage or added redundancy – from backhaul to back-up for resiliency, from IoT to supporting emergency services, from home broadband to supporting agritech.
“We have just signed a Letter of Intent with OneWeb, supporting our intention to work together over the next five to 10 years. We look forward to working towards a long-term strategic agreement.”
David Thorn, Vice President, APAC at OneWeb, said the company was pleased to have the opportunity to explore innovative connectivity in partnership with Telstra.
“It’s developing relationships like this that make our roles as global technology leaders worthwhile, where Telstra and OneWeb are at the heart of delivering outcomes for regional and remote communities in Australia and across Asia Pacific.
“I’d like to thank Telstra for their unwavering commitment to solving the needs of these communities and we look forward to working closely with Nikos and the team, and Telstra’s new CEO Vicki Brady, long into the future.”
OneWeb has been building its initial constellation of 648 satellites and has 428 satellites in low earth orbit already. The remaining satellites will be launched over coming months. Services are available in Alaska, Canada, UK and the Arctic region. By late 2023, it will be offering its high-speed, low-latency connectivity services worldwide.
The partnership complements Telstra’s T25 ambition to grow and extend its network leadership position and boost mobile coverage across the country, in addition to being another key milestone for OneWeb’s path to global coverage later in 2023. BCS Bureau