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OneWeb to introduce high-speed internet for the Arctic in 2020

There will be enough capacity to give “fibre-like” connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes, planes, and boats, connecting millions across the Arctic.

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Greenland is one of the areas that will be covered by OneWeb's connectivity
Greenland is one of the areas that will be covered by OneWeb's connectivity

Global satcoms provider, OneWeb, has released details of its Arctic high-speed, low-latency internet service.

 

The new system of low earth orbiting satellites will deliver 375 Gbps of capacity to every country above the 60th parallel North. This will provide 24-hour connectivity across half (48 per cent) of the Arctic currently without coverage, said OneWeb.

 

Satellite communications network

 

According to the provider, the $3.4bn satellite communications network will be fundamental to implementing smart cities, connected aviation, and autonomous transport across the North Pole.

 

With service slated to start in 2020, there will be enough capacity to give “fibre-like” connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes, planes, and boats, connecting millions across the Arctic.

 

The past few weeks have seen a rush of satellite operators announcing their expansion into the Arctic. But OneWeb claims its Arctic service will be deployed significantly earlier and provide 200 times more capacity than planned systems.

 

The company plans to launch “at least” 650 satellites, providing substantial coverage in 2020 and total 24-hour fibre-standard coverage across the Arctic region for the first time by 2021.

“Ensuring the people of the Arctic have access to affordable and reliable broadband will make development safer, more sustainable and create new opportunities for the next generation”

Substantial services will start towards the end of 2020, with full 24-hour coverage being provided by early 2021, supplying “unprecedented blanket coverage” to every part of the Arctic Circle.

 

“Connectivity is critical in our modern economy,” said Lisa Murkowski, US senator for Alaska.

 

“As the Arctic opens, ensuring the people of the Arctic have access to affordable and reliable broadband will make development safer, more sustainable and create new opportunities for the next generation leading in this dynamic region of the globe.”

 

Home to millions of people, the Arctic is a growing economic hub for many important industries. OneWeb notes that its “seamless global network” will facilitate smart shipping, connected aviation, the collection of climate data, and the growth of a digital economy across the region.

 

Boosting commercial growth

 

The industry advancements will further the Arctic’s growth as a key commercial trade region by drastically improving the region’s safety and communications services, as well as boosting education, healthcare and economic development in remote communities.

 

“Connectivity is now an essential utility and a basic human right,” added Adrian Steckel, chief executive officer, OneWeb.

 

“Our constellation will offer universal high-speed Arctic coverage sooner than any other proposed system meeting the need for widespread connectivity across the Arctic.”

 

OneWeb is already active in Norway and Alaska, where its ground antennas will be fully operational by January 2020 to serve the Arctic region.

 

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