Telefónica has struck a deal with OneWeb, the UK government’s part-owned satellite broadband company, to provide connectivity to remote parts of Europe and Latin America.
OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will complement Telefónica’s existing fixed and mobile networks, allowing rural areas to access high-speed, low-latency connectivity.
The network will also provide mobile backhaul, offering backup for critical sites or providing additional capacity for special events.
Telefónica has networks in its native Spain, Germany and the UK, where it is a partner in the Virgin Media O2 joint venture, and in South and Central America.
“By partnering with OneWeb, we can increase our portfolio by offering solutions that require low latency,” said Julio Beamonte, CEO of Telefónica Global Solutions, Ooficer.
“Our expertise will be essential as we tailor the OneWeb solution to deliver corporate, B2B and cellular backhaul services and help drive adoption of critical business applications in the hardest-to-connect areas. We are focused on helping our wholesale and B2B customers drive transformational change in their business, and we believe our partnership with OneWeb will help us do just that.”
OneWeb currently has a constellation of 428 satellites, but plans a total of 650 to provide global coverage, bring broadband to some of the most remote parts of the world, and transform consumer services, in-flight Wi-Fi, and industrial applications.
The company faced bankruptcy in 2020 before being bailed out through a takeover by Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which owns a third of the business.
“This agreement is fantastic news for communities in Europe and Latin America, who will benefit from better and improved network coverage,” added OneWeb CEO Niel Masterson.
“OneWeb believes that our unique network has a crucial role to play in providing connectivity to the world’s most difficult-to-reach areas, so we look forward to working with Telefónica to bring better Internet performance and availability to customers.”
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