Thursday, 08 September 2022 16:04

Telstra and OneWeb testing LEO services in Australia


Telecommunications company Telstra and satellite communications operator OneWeb's joint testing of OneWeb's network of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites has progressed from the UK to Australia,

The goal is to improve connectivity for Telstra's most remote customers, and the two companies have signed a letter of intent as a step towards reaching 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," said Telstra group executive for networks and IT Nikos Katinakis.

"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."

OneWeb APAC vice president David Thorn said "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."

428 of OneWeb's initial constellation of 648 satellites are already in low earth orbit, with the remainder to be launched in the coming months.

Services are available in Alaska, Canada, UK and the Arctic region, and high-speed, low-latency connectivity services should be available worldwide by late 2023.

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.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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