Hughes to Produce Gateways and User Terminal Modules to Power Services on the Low Earth Orbit Satellite Network
Germantown, MD, December 16, 2020 – Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, has been chosen by OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company, to develop and manufacture essential ground system technology for the new LEO constellation. In a three-year contract valued at approximately $250 million, Hughes will produce the gateway electronics for the OneWeb system as well as the core module that will be used in every user terminal.
“Today’s announcement of a continued technology partnership with OneWeb reflects our position as the trusted innovator in the industry,” said Pradman Kaul, president, Hughes. “The ground system we develop will enable reliable, low latency broadband data, ideal for a wide range of customer applications.”
Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb, said: “OneWeb is building a global broadband network to deliver high-throughput, low latency enterprise grade connectivity services for a wide range of government, commercial, and mobility use cases. Our goal is to commercialize services in a year, and our partnership with Hughes will be vital in helping us launch a secure, trusted, resilient, space-based network.”
Designed by Hughes engineers, each OneWeb gateway is capable of 10,000 hand-offs per second, orchestrating handover and tracking of hundreds of gigabits of data across hundreds of beams and millions of users. Under an agreement with OneWeb prior to a restructuring in March, seven gateways had been installed with several more in various stages of production. Under the new agreement, Hughes has ramped up production on the gateway equipment and resumed testing on the installed systems.
The agreement announced today also calls for Hughes to develop and manufacture the core module for the OneWeb user terminals. Designed by Hughes, the core module is uniquely adaptable across fixed as well as aeronautical and maritime mobility terminals, for either electronically or mechanically steered antennas.
After filing for bankruptcy protection in March, OneWeb is now under ownership by a new consortium led by the U.K. Government and Bharti Enterprises and in which Hughes has agreed in principle to invest $50 million.