Wednesday, 02 March 2022 22:00

Telstra & OneWeb sign MOU to 'explore new connectivity solutions in Australia & Asia Pacific'

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Australia's biggest telco, Telstra, and OneWeb, a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore new solutions for improved digital connectivity across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

We're told the non-exclusive agreement brings together Telstra’s telecommunications expertise in Australia, and OneWeb’s satellite capability to deliver innovative connectivity in the future.

Telstra said the partnership complements its 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 2022.

Andrew Penn, Chief Executive Officer at Telstra said the partnership reinforces Telstra’s ongoing commitment to providing world class communications for regional Australia at a time when investment in expanding digital infrastructure remains a top priority for the country’s economic recovery and development post-pandemic.

“We see lots of opportunities for our consumer, small business and enterprise customers using LEO satellite connectivity – from backhaul to back-up for resiliency, from IoT to supporting emergency services, from home broadband to supporting agritech.

“It also opens up opportunities in the wider Asia Pacific region alongside our existing and future operations.”

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive Officer at OneWeb said this is great news for communities and businesses across Australia and the Asia Pacific, who can now look forward to high-speed, low latency connectivity from Space.

“Together with Telstra, OneWeb’s global LEO network has the power to connect even the most remote parts of the region, and we look to realising our ambition to bringing connectivity to those hardest to reach.”

Telstra reminds us its mobile network currently reaches 99.5% of the population and covers 1 million square kilometres, more than any other Australian mobile provider.

Meanwhile, we're also reminded OneWeb is making significant progress in building its constellation and currently has 428 satellites in low earth orbit, representing more than two thirds of its planned fleet, delivering connectivity to customers in remote regions of Alaska, Canada, and the North Sea. Launches will continue during 2022 to enable the company to offer commercial connectivity services globally later this year.

OneWeb and Telstra say they will work together "over the coming months" to finalise the detailed scope of the agreement.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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