BT Group, UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider that serves customers in 180 countries and LEO satellite company OneWeb have entered into a partnership for a new Distribution Partner Agreement. As per the partnership, OneWeb will provide Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication services to BT Group. This development follows an initial MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), which was signed back in July this year. Notably, BT is testing the way LEO satellite technology integrates with the existing terrestrial capabilities meet the customers’ communications requirements.
OneWeb And BT Partnership
On successfully completing this agreement, BT will commence the first five trials with users from early 2022. The partnership between OneWeb and BT will span over an increasing range of connectivity solutions all over the world and specific opportunities for UK as well.
The LEO satellite communications provider OneWeb is expected to deliver coverage on a global scale by June next year via a constellation of 648 LEO satellites. It is stated to deliver services from the North Pole to the 50th parallel, which will cover the entire UK later in 2021. With the new partnership supporting BT’s wider network, the company intends to deliver digital solutions all over the UK by 2028. This will be possible via on-demand and requestable solutions.
BT will leverage and integrate both non-terrestrial and terrestrial technologies to deliver on its ambition to deliver seamless connectivity. The agreement of partnership marks a clear path towards the first LEO satellite solutions that will be available for users in a year.
As a part of the next time, BT will test the capabilities in its lab located in Bristol to demonstrate how they integrate with the existing services. With the existing capacity levels of OneWeb Satellites, the initial trials will focus on its role as a low latency, supplementary backhaul solutions to sites where a backup solution or additional capacity is needed. Also, it will focus on delivering enhanced resilience for business users.
On completing the same successfully, BT will begin the early trials for both UK and global customers in early 2022. As OneWeb increases its capacity, the future use cases will also widen, thereby opening up more opportunity to explore the use of satellite for fixed wireless access and IoT backhaul in rural areas.