back to article OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches

OneWeb will resume construction of its communications satellite constellation courtesy of SpaceX's rockets. The announcement comes weeks after the UK government-backed company confirmed it would be suspending all launches from the Baikonur spaceport because of the conflict in Ukraine. OneWeb was close to completing its …

  1. Binraider Silver badge

    While I am sure SpaceX will offer reasonable rates for launches; one suspects that OneWeb versus Starlink is something of a losing battle!

    Complementary rather than competing technologies would seem to be the way forward. What can OneWeb do that Starlink can't? Then concentrate on that sector.

    Of course as it's largely taxpayer funded the outfit responsible doesn't actually give two hoots about commercial viability and even if it is a dead loss the government can flog a dead horse for all it is worth.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      The major difference is OneWeb is targeting businesses and governments rather than individuals.

      It's also putting fewer satellites (only 648) in a higher orbit, so there will be a bit more latency.

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Are you sure latency is higher?

        Is your only reason for thinking the latency is higher, because of the orbital altitude? Or do you have the actual engineering data?

        I don’t know the latencies, but that’s not the only (or even majority) latency. 1200km is worth 8milliseconds two-way. But on top of that you have to get the data from the Earth station to where you are going. For lower orbit - Either you have thousands of Earth stations dotted around within range of every satellite - then they are small and can’t be located on internet backbone everywhere, which means extra latency. Or you use laser inter satellite links, but then it is multi-hop with processing latency on each hop. Although the individual hops are faster, because light is faster in free space than in a fibre. And neither of the routes is in a straight line, given multi-hop.

        The overall answer is very much non-trivial.

    2. Chris the bean counter

      They may get a good deal as it suits companies to have a "Useless" competitor. Keeps the competition authorities off their back.

      Examples include Microsoft v Apple and Intel v times have changed.

      Agree it would be good if oneweb could have complimentary base stations.

      Oneweb gives UK strategic flexibility as for example allows military drone to communicate which is useful for UK and competitors. Also spare bandwidth can be donated to free to developing countries.

      It is a cognitive error to automatically hate an idea just because the person who suggested it is loathsome.

  2. VoiceOfTruth

    How much does SpaceX charge?

    I realise to this (any?) government that spends tax payers' money cost is not a concern (how many tens of billions were thrown down the drain with the word 'covid' written on the cheques), but it would be good to know the terms of the SpaceX contract.

    1. Vulch

      Re: How much does SpaceX charge?

      67 million USD for a standard launch. Discounts available for booking multiple flights.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much does SpaceX charge?

        How much is that in Roubles?

        1. Alistair

          Re: How much does SpaceX charge?

          "How much is that in Roubles?:

          Any quote that figure would only be accurate for about 24 hours. Check back later to see if the cause of the economic instability has been removed from office.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: How much does SpaceX charge?

            As long as that?

  3. ClarkMills

    The extra cost and substandard service matters not...

    ...when what you are buying is your own carrier network. It's a bit harder for others to turn off your network if you own it.

    A bit like owning your own servers and using the cloud[s]; a mix for redundancy has its value though there are significant price differences between the two.

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