AT&T will tap into OneWeb’s satellite network to reach remote areas
OneWeb has secured a key customer for its emerging low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband platform, announcing Wednesday that AT&T will use it to provide satellite-based connectivity to business customers in remote parts of the US.
Financial terms were not announced, but AT&T intends to tap into OneWeb’s satellite-based platform to extend its reach in hard-to-serve areas that fall outside of AT&T’s fiber footprint, or are beyond the reach of AT&T’s network of cell towers. OneWeb’s satellite-based platform will effectively “complement” AT&T’s existing access technologies, the companies said.
AT&T notes that more than 9 million business customer locations are within 1,000 feet of its fiber network, but that there are remote areas that remain out of reach. By riding OneWeb’s LEO-based broadband satellite constellation, AT&T reckons it will be able to deliver high-speed, low-latency services to small, medium and enterprise-sized business customers in those locations.
“Working with OneWeb, we’ll be able to enhance high-speed connectivity in places that we don’t serve today and meet our customers wherever they are,” Scott Mair, president, network engineering and operations at AT&T, said in a statement. “We’re expanding our network with one more option to help ensure that our business customers have the high-speed, low-latency connectivity they need to thrive as the nation recovers from COVID-19.”
The deal with AT&T gives OneWeb a big-name tenant as it pursues a plan to launch a constellation of LEO satellites. OneWeb has launched 288 satellites so far, and expects to attain global coverage by the end of 2022 via a constellation of 648 satellites. In the meantime, OneWeb said it will be in position to reach AT&T business and government customers in Alaska and states in the northern continental US “later this year.”
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