Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services, today announced that it has signed a contract for $190M with OneWeb for the production of a ground network system, supporting OneWeb’s constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites in its mission to bring affordable broadband service to millions of households, schools and other end users around the world.
This contract builds on the original system development agreement between the companies signed in June 2015, bringing the total value of both to over $300M. It includes production of the gateway sites each with multiple tracking satellite access points to support operation and handoff of high-speed user traffic between satellites.
“The start of production of the ground system is a major step towards fulfilling OneWeb’s goal of bridging the digital divide, leaving no one behind,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “Hughes has been an outstanding technology partner and we are excited to deploy this essential part of our network as we ramp up to launch the first of our fleet early next year and provide service to every rural home in Alaska starting in 2019.”
“Designing a ground system capable of supporting hundreds of LEOs with seamless handoff of broadband traffic between satellites presented a significant challenge,” said John Corrigan, senior vice president of Engineering for Hughes. “But our team was up to the task, and we are proud to be partnering with OneWeb on realizing this revolutionary satellite communications system to close the global digital divide.”
Joint development of the ground network system began approximately two years ago. The current agreement includes equipment to support multiple satellite access points in gateway locations around the world, each including a custom switching complex, outdoor modems, and power amplifiers. Shipments are expected to begin in mid-2018