OneWeb, Intelsat Team on Hybrid In-Flight Broadband

A OneWeb satellite launch. (Image credit: OneWeb)

OneWeb and international satellite company Intelsat have struck a deal to target in-flight connectivity.

The distribution agreement allows Intelsat to distribute OneWeb’s low-earth-orbit (LEO) broadband satellite systems to airlines worldwide in tandem with Intelsat's existing geostationary service.

It is being billed as a “multi-orbit solution” to airline broadband that will reduce significant gaps in coverage and/or capacity at hubs and on transoceanic and polar routes for Internet browsing, texting, streaming, cellphone service and email.

The companies say that multi-orbit hybrid coverage should be ready to take off in 2024.

According to a report earlier this month from Verified Market Research, the in-flight connectivity and entertainment market — including hardware and content — is projected to reach over $12 billion by 2030, growing at a rate of over 8% per year. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.