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The European Union plans to invest and use OneWeb, SpaceX’s alternative satellite network to Starlink

OneWeb emerged from bankruptcy a year ago following the UK government’s purchase and stake in the company, alongside an Indian company. While its pace is much slower, it is one of the most promising alternatives to SpaceX’s Starlink for satellite internet connectivity. The European Union, who does not want to be left behind in this race, looking for a possible participation in OneWeb.

According to the Telegraph, Brussels seeks a potential investment in OneWeb to have participation and voice in the construction of a satellite network. Currently 55% of OneWeb is in the hands of an Indian operator, 45% in the hands of the United Kingdom and 10% in the hands of creditors. With considerable participation, the European Union would influence and could use the satellite network once it is operational.

What the European Union is looking for is be in the satellite internet race. As we saw a few months ago, they are looking to work on their own Starlink, although according to the Telegraph progress is too slow on this project. The alternative would be to participate in a satellite network outside the European Union. Although OneWeb is the option that has the most ballots, Telesat of Canada is also among the viable options.

The truth is there are already certain links between OneWeb and the European Union. Currently the United Kingdom is still part of the European Space Agency, so there is a communication and collaboration channel out there between the European Union and OneWeb. Apparently, the president of OneWeb has also pressed for a possible collaboration between both entities.


The direct alternative to Starlink for a satellite internet connection

Currently OneWeb has around 300 satellites in orbit, after launching 34 new ones at the end of August this year. The goal is to have about 6,000 more for a full, secure and high-speed connection. However, it would be enough with about 600 in orbit to start operating.

What is Starlink, how does it work and how much does it cost?

In any case, if OneWeb does operate, it probably will not do so by focusing on offering broadband to citizens. The idea behind the project is good offer a low latency internet connection with download speeds of 50mb / s. To put it in context, Starlink promises up to 1 Gbps and a ping so low that streaming video games can be played. It remains to be seen what Amazon does with its Project Kuiper as well.