OneWeb Constellation

OneWeb Constellation

OneWeb Constellation


  • OneWeb Constellation operates in a LEO Polar Orbit.
  • Satellites are arranged in 12 rings (Orbital planes) with 49 satellites in each plane.
  • The orbital planes are inclined to be near polar (87.9 Deg.)
  • The orbital planes are 1200 km above the Earth. Each satellite completes a full trip around the Earth every 109 minutes.


  • OneWeb already has connectivity solutions active today in key geographies across the globe and is bringing new areas online.
  • OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency solutions will help connect communities, enterprises, and governments around the world, demonstrating the unparalleled potential of LEO connectivity.

Launch vehicle

  • ISRO’S  commercial arm  NSIL had signed a contract with OneWeb to launch 72 satellites using LMV 3 launch vehicle
  • One Web is a U.K.-based company that provides internet services to customers through its 582 web of satellites.

What is LEO?

  • A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is, as the name suggests, an orbit that is relatively close to Earth’s surface. It is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km but could be as low as 160 km above Earth – which is low compared to other orbits, but still very far above Earth’s surface.
  • By comparison, most commercial airplanes do not fly at altitudes much greater than approximately 14 km, so even the lowest LEO is more than ten times higher than that.
  • Unlike satellites in GEO that must always orbit along Earth’s equator, LEO satellites do not always have to follow a particular path around Earth in the same way – their plane can be tilted. This means there are more available routes for satellites in LEO, which is one of the reasons why LEO is a very commonly used orbit.
  • LEO’s proximity to Earth makes it useful for several reasons. It is the orbit most commonly used for satellite imaging, as being near the surface allows it to take images of higher resolution. It is also the orbit used for the International Space Station (ISS), as it is easier for astronauts to travel to and from it at a shorter distance. Satellites in this orbit travel at a speed of around 7.8 km per second; at this speed, a satellite takes approximately 90 minutes to circle Earth, meaning the ISS travels around Earth about 16 times a day.
  • However, individual LEO satellites are less useful for tasks such as telecommunication, because they move so fast across the sky and therefore require a lot of effort to track from ground stations. Instead, communications satellites in LEO often work as part of a large combination or constellation of multiple satellites to give constant coverage. To increase coverage, sometimes constellations like this, consisting of several of the same or similar satellites, are launched together to create a ‘net’ around Earth. This lets them cover large areas of Earth simultaneously by working together.

Advantages of OneWeb broadband:

  • Global Coverage: Space-based broadband systems can provide coverage to even the most remote and isolated areas of the world, which is often not possible with traditional ground-based broadband systems.
  • Bridging the Digital Divide: Affordable and high-speed broadband connectivity to remote and underserved areas that currently lack reliable internet access will help to bridge the digital divide.
  • High Speeds: Space-based broadband systems can provide high-speed internet connectivity to users, which is crucial for many applications, such as video conferencing, cloud-based services, and real-time data transfer.
  • Disaster Response: The system can be quickly deployed to provide emergency communication services in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods thus helping to save lives and coordinate relief efforts more effectively.
  • Low Latency: Space-based systems can significantly reduce latency compared to traditional satellite-based systems, which can make a significant difference in many applications, such as online gaming and virtual reality.
  • IoT and Machine-to-Machine Communication: It can support the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and enable machine-to-machine communication, which is becoming increasingly important in industries such as agriculture, transportation, and logistics.
  • Redundancy: It can provide a redundant connection to users in areas where traditional broadband systems are unavailable, which is critical in emergencies.
  • Improved Connectivity for Air and Sea Travel: Low latency, high-speed space-based broadband network can improve connectivity for air and sea travel, enabling passengers to stay connected during their journey and improving safety for ships and planes.
  • Scalability: Space-based broadband systems can be scaled quickly and easily to meet increasing demand, which is essential in areas experiencing rapid population growth or where there is a sudden surge in demand due to an emergency or disaster.

Major Challenges of Space-Based Broadband Projects

  • Cost: Launching satellites into orbit is expensive, and the cost of building, launching, and maintaining a constellation of satellites can be very high.
  • Technical issues: Satellites must be able to communicate with ground stations and with each other, and there are many technical challenges associated with designing, building, and operating a constellation of satellites.
  • Orbital debris: The increasing amount of debris in space can pose a risk to satellites and their operations.
  • Regulatory issues: Space-based broadband projects must comply with national and international regulations governing the use of space, including regulations related to radio frequency interference, orbital debris, and spectrum allocation.
  • Environmental concerns: The deployment of large constellations of satellites can have an impact on the space environment, potentially increasing the risk of collisions and contributing to the accumulation of orbital debris.
  • Competition: Several companies and organizations are competing in the space-based broadband market, and the success of any particular project may depend on its ability to differentiate itself from its competitors and attract customers.

Major Space-Based Broadband Projects

Starlink:It is a satellite-based broadband service launched by SpaceX. It aims to provide high-speed, low-latency internet to users around the world.
Amazon Kuiper:It is a satellite-based broadband service announced by Amazon in 2019. It aims to provide internet access to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
Telesat:It is a Canadian satellite company that is planning to launch a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites to provide broadband internet services to customers around the world.
LeoSat: It is a satellite-based broadband service that aims to provide high-speed, low-latency connectivity to businesses and organizations around the world. It uses a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites.
SES: It is a Luxembourg-based satellite operator that provides a range of satellite-based services, including broadband internet services for businesses and consumers around the world.

Related Links:

ChandrayaanMangalyaan Mission
Gaganyaan MissionINSAT 3D and INSAT 3DR