Hughes signs $190 mn contract with OneWeb for network system

Hughes broadband satelliteHughes Network Systems announced a $190 million contract with OneWeb for the production of a ground network system for launching Internet services powered by satellites.

Hughes will supply equipment to support multiple satellite access points in gateway locations around the world, each including a custom switching complex, outdoor modems, and power amplifiers. Hughes will start supply in 2018.

In June 2015, Hughes signed a $110 million deal with OneWeb for the original system development. Hughes said the total value of both contracts will be over $300 million. The initial contract includes the production of the gateway sites each with multiple tracking satellite access points to support operation and handoff of high-speed user traffic between satellites.

“The start of production of the ground system is a major step towards fulfilling OneWeb’s goal of bridging the digital divide,” said Greg Wyler, founder and executive chairman of OneWeb.

OneWeb aims to launch the first of its fleet early next year and provide service to every rural home in Alaska starting in 2019.

“Designing a ground system capable of supporting LEOs with seamless handoff of broadband traffic between satellites presented a significant challenge,” said John Corrigan, senior vice president of Engineering for Hughes.

OneWeb aims to offer affordable Internet for everyone, connect every school on Earth, and bridge the digital divide by 2027.

OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites. With more than 7 terabits per second of new capacity in its first constellation, it will extend networks of mobile operators and ISPs to serve new coverage areas.

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