OneWeb to Take On the Arctic

September 4th, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

The frozen north needs bandwidth too, and in recent years more and more are seeing opportunities up in the Arctic Circle. After raising a $1.5B war chest in the Spring, OneWeb unveiled plans this morning to put some of that money to work chasing bandwidth north of the 60th parallel.

But what they aren’t doing is putting in submarine cable, a few of which are still at various stages of planning at places like Cinia and Quintillion etc. OneWeb is taking the high road, literally, putting a constellation of satellites into Low Earth Orbit. One of the first operational satellites will be called Nanuq-Sat, or polar bear, as decided by children in Anchorage, Alaska.

The company’s plans are for 375Gbps of capacity starting in 2020, with initial service starting in Norway and Alaska beginning in January 2020 and reaching 24-hour coverage by early 2021. That will go a decent ways to hooking up homes, planes, and boats across the sparsely populated tundra up there.

The case for satellite is easier to make up in the Arctic, but it only goes so far when it comes to overall capacity, latency, etc.  So it seems clear that plans for those undersea cables through the region will keep on rolling in some form regardless.

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Categories: satellite · Undersea cables

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