Satellite communications provider OneWeb struck an agreement with a commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch satellites in the country from 2022, a move it claimed would contribute to a goal of bringing connectivity services to every part of the world.

A letter of intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) will enable OneWeb to use two India-built launch vehicles as potential platforms to fire up satellites from the nation, it explained in a statement.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman of OneWeb, expressed belief the move will allow OneWeb to fulfil its vision of “taking broadband connectivity across the earth, oceans and sky”, while also turning India into a “key hub” in the global space ecosystem.

LiveMint reported OneWeb was the first private company to strike a deal to launch commercial satellite services in India.

The deal was signed during the launch of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), which has OneWeb as one of its founding members.

Following approvals from the companies’ boards, it will “expeditiously” be transformed into a binding agreement.

Connectivity goals
OneWeb aims to offer high-speed, low-latency connectivity services globally before the end of 2022. It plans to create a constellation of 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, 322 of which are already in space.

The company expects to commence services in Alaska, Canada and the UK before the end of 2021.

OneWeb filed for bankruptcy in the US in March 2020, but soon after it received major backing from the UK government and Bharti Enterprises, and further support from Hughes Network Systems and Eutelsat.