New Delhi, October 12: Bharti Group-backed low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb informed that it has entered an arrangement with the commercial arm of ISRO, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), to launch its satellite in India from 2022.
The arrangement has been made through a letter of intent (LOI) with NSIL, to use Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb''s satellites in India from 2022, the statement said.
The non-binding letter of intent was unveiled at the launch of the Indian Space Association (ISpA) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.OneWeb is amongst the founding members of ISpA, which strives to be the collective voice of space and satellite companies in India and will work with stakeholders across for the development of India's space ecosystem.
The company is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites and has already put 322 satellites into orbit. It plans to start services this year to the Arctic region including Alaska, Canada, and the UK, and in the second half of 2022 in India.
"By late 2022, OneWeb will offer its high-speed, low latency connectivity services in India and the rest of the world. Service testing on the satellites already in orbit is underway. OneWeb and NSIL will expeditiously convert the LOI into a binding agreement after obtaining all necessary approvals from their respective boards," the statement said.
OneWeb chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that ISRO has built formidable launch capabilities and India is part of the select group of countries to have a history of successful launches."OneWeb will be delighted to use ISRO's proven platforms to fulfill its vision of taking broadband connectivity across the earth, oceans, and sky," Mittal said.
K Sivan, chairman of Isro, said, “We are delighted to have OneWeb looking into how our launch capabilities can help meet their global ambition to connect people everywhere. We are making tremendous progress and India is advancing its space capabilities and we look forward to working together
In under a year, the company has launched 322 satellites now in space. "OneWeb will undertake its 11th launch on the 14th of October with a further 36 satellites on board," the statement said.