Science

Eutelsat offers OneWeb to compete with Starlink

The two companies will merge after this operation. They will have an extensive network of satellites to offer an alternative to Starlink in Europe.

Satellite Internet is a major problem for Europe. To date, it has been hard to match Starlink, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) behind the SpaceX aviation company founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. The US group is proud to have a fleet of more than 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.

The Old Continent is determined to stand up to an American firm whose services are already available in France. The French group Eutelsat has just announced the acquisition of OneWeb. With this deal due to close in 2023, the buyer could become a major player in the satellite internet market. The two companies (Eutelsat and OneWeb) are now preparing to merge to offer a single service.

According to a press release regarding the deal, “Eutelsat will combine its fleet of 36 geostationary satellites with the OneWeb constellation of 648 satellites in low Earth orbit, of which 428 are currently in orbit.” Admittedly, the group will be far from Starlink in terms of fleet, but it has enough satellites to be legitimate and gain market share.

Recall that earlier the European Commission, for its part, presented its project to launch its own satellites into orbit to supply Europe and Africa. A €6 billion project to become completely independent of private systems. Pending the launch of such a service, Eutelsat will be able to effectively establish itself on the European landscape.

Internet for everyone

This is the main goal of developing satellite offerings. Even today, many areas are deprived of mobile and fixed communications, including in such a developed and technologically advanced country as France. Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said: “Just 20 months ago, OneWeb resumed its mission to connect the unconnected and remove barriers to connectivity that hold back many underserved economies and communities around the world. The English firm also insists on the complementarity of technologies owned by the two companies. They provide low latency and high throughput.

Now all that’s left is to discover the packages that this new organization, which comes from the merger of two large companies, intends to offer.

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