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Airbus, OneWeb Launch The First Satellite For High-Speed Internet

Excited for something faster than gigabit internet?

Airbus SE, in a joint venture with OneWeb called OneWeb Satellites, launched an Arianespace Soyuz rocket carrying six refrigerator-sized satellites from French Guiana this Wednesday. This is the first step in a plan to give high-speed internet straight from space to millions of people in remote and rural areas.

The launch could begin the era of satellites in the world, which several companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Canada’s Telesat, and LeoSat Enterprises have already been aiming for quite some time now. The goal is to enable data networks using hundreds or thousands of smaller-sized satellites orbiting around the Earth.

Aerospace consultancy Teal Group analyst Marco Caceres says, “We are looking in the next five years at potentially 10,000 satellites needing to be launched and we don’t have the launch capacity at this moment to do that.”

According to a trusted source, OneWeb’s plan is to launch at least 30 satellites each month starting September of this year, reaching 25% of completion by the end of this year. The company has raised more than $2 billion from a variety of investors such as Coca-Cola, Virgin Group, and Airbus. Its goal is to have global broadband coverage using 650 satellites by 2021.

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