The non-binding letter of intent was unveiled at the launch of Indian Space Association (ISpA) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Bharti-backed low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb has partnered with NewSpace India (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), to use Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.
The non-binding letter of intent was unveiled at the launch of Indian Space Association (ISpA) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. OneWeb is among the founding members of ISpA, which strives to be the collective voice of space and satellite companies in India and will work with stakeholders across for the development of India’s space ecosystem.
OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites and has already put 322 satellites into orbit. Services will begin this year to the Arctic region including Alaska, Canada, and the UK. By late 2022, OneWeb will offer its high-speed, low latency connectivity services in India and the rest of the world.
OneWeb and NSIL will expeditiously convert the Letter of Intent into a binding agreement after obtaining all necessary approvals from their respective boards.
“ISRO has built formidable launch capabilities and India is part of the select group of countries to have history of successful launches. OneWeb will be delighted to use Isro’s proven platforms to fulfil its vision of taking broadband connectivity across the earth, oceans and sky,” OneWeb chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.
K Sivan, chairman of Isro, said, “We are delighted to have OneWeb looking into how our launch capabilities can help meet their global ambition to connect people everywhere. We are making tremendous progress and India is advancing its space capabilities and we look forward to working together.”
OneWeb will undertake its 11th launch on October 14 with a further 36 satellites on board. In under a year, the company has passed the halfway stage of its first-generation constellation with 322 satellites now in space.