[Pangyo Tech] OneWeb-Hanwha Systems provides satellite communications service in South Korea

OneWeb, a global satellite communication company, will launch satellite communication services in the Korean market in 2023 in partnership with Hanwha Systems. OneWeb is targeting the market focusing on B2B services.

It has been confirmed that OneWeb and Hanwha Systems in the UK have started preparing related administrative procedures and infrastructure with the aim of launching services in South Korea in 2023. The two companies are preparing technical and administrative procedures for the launch of Korean services at the same time. OneWeb will launch a total of 648 low earth orbit (LEO) communication satellites in the global market by the first half of next year, and will prepare South Korea to be included in the 24-hour satellite communication range. The selection of gateway operators to connect to the ground Internet network using satellites as a repeater will also be completed within 2023 and technical preparations will be completed to enable Korean services by the second half of the year.

Hanwha Systems, which owns a stake in OneWeb as a domestic corporation related to administrative procedures, is preparing to register with the Ministry of Science and ICT as a “a telecommunication company that owns line equipment for the wireless business for a certain term.” OneWeb uses Ku bandwidth (12~18GHz) and Ka bandwidth (26.5~40GHz) as its satellite communications frequency bandwidth. For Korean services, it is necessary to check concerns over confusion and interference with other satellite broadcasting and communication services and obtain permission to use them. Hanwha Systems plans to register as a telecommunications business operator for a certain term by next year and run the service in South Korea.

OneWeb and Hanwha Systems are expected to target the B2B satellite communication market. While SpaceX is strengthening general users (B2C), OneWeb is focusing on the B2B market including providing mobile backhaul for mountainous and remote areas, and satellite Internet for deep-sea fishing vessel and aircraft.

OneWeb is providing low earth orbit (LEO) satellite by launching 428 satellites, which are about 70% of the target, at an altitude of 1,100 to 1,200 kilometers above the ground. Hanwha Systems invested $300 million in OneWeb. Recently, it has decided to merge with Eutelsat, a French low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite company, and is expanding its entry into global markets competing with SpaceX. Amid the global satellite communication market which is divided into a two-way race between SpaceX, OneWeb, as opposed to Eutelsat, both companies have begun practical preparations to enter the South Korean market in 2023, and the South Korean market is emerging as a key testbed as well as a competitive arena for global satellite communication.

Compared to SpaceX, which is a major shareholder of Tesla in the U.S., OneWeb in which the British government holds a stake is close to a multinational company jointly invested by Hanwha, Japan’s Softbank, and India’s Bharti Airtel. As a partner equipped with communication satellite manufacturing technology such as Payload and end terminal, Hanwha Systems plans to promote joint business with OneWeb which can help with its global expansion.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom