Bharti Group-backed OneWeb, the global communications network powered from Space, and BT, one of the world’s leading communication services companies, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to explore the provision of improved digital communication services to some of the hardest to reach parts of the UK. The groundbreaking agreement between OneWeb and BT comes as an investment in expanding modern, digital infrastructure and remains a top priority for the UK’s economic recovery and development post-COVID.
OneWeb’s network has a unique capability to serve hard to reach communities and the work with BT will focus on how satellite technology might support improved capacity, mobile resilience, backhaul and coverage, including Fixed Wireless Access, in challenging geographic locations, as BT explores new options to enhance rural connectivity. As part of the discussions, the companies will consider opportunities to deliver OneWeb’s connectivity services from Low Earth Orbit to businesses and communities around the UK, as well as identifying collaboration opportunities to develop new services beyond UK’s shores for BT’s global customers.
OneWeb continues to execute the deployment of its network at pace and is seeing increasing demand from customers. The company has announced recent distribution partner signings across multiple industries and territories above the 50th Parallel with communication companies including the AST Group, PDI, and ACS among others. Today’s MoU announcement further demonstrates OneWeb’s execution momentum and the confidence customers have in its services and offers.
Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT, said: “Our ambitious full-fibre and mobile commitments have put BT at the forefront of efforts to expand digital connectivity across the UK. It’s clear that greater partnership is needed, both with Government and within the industry, to ensure connectivity can reach every last corner of the country. Our agreement with OneWeb is an important step to understanding how that goal could be achieved in the future.”
OneWeb’s Chief Executive Officer, Neil Masterson, said: “This partnership is a huge sign of progress in the resilience and advancement of the overall telecom infrastructure in the UK. OneWeb’s network will be a vital means for bridging the last digital divides across the network and we are excited to be part of the solution with BT to expand the nation’s digital infrastructure.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, added: “No one should miss out on the benefits of better broadband and mobile coverage. It’s great that BT and OneWeb are working together to explore new ways to bring faster and more reliable connectivity to the hardest to reach homes. Alongside industry, we have kicked off the biggest broadband build in British history and are spending a record £5.5 billion to end poor or patchy 4G coverage and deliver gigabit speeds in all corners of the UK.”