TAMPA, Fla. — Antenna maker Kymeta announced a partnership Dec. 1 to jointly develop a flat panel, electronically steered user terminal for stationary land applications on OneWeb’s low Earth orbit broadband network.
Kymeta said the antenna will be based on the u8 terminal it launched commercially in November 2020 and will be available to purchase by the third quarter of 2022.
“Kymeta’s pioneering u8 does not require mechanical components to steer toward a satellite and when paired with our LEO network will provide governments, businesses, and communities with high-throughput and low-latency communication services at competitive prices,” said Michele Franci, OneWeb’s chief of delivery and operations.
According to Kymeta, its joint development agreement (JDA) with OneWeb also paves the way to terminals for mobility applications on land and out at sea.
In addition to being able to connect to OneWeb in LEO, engineering teams from both companies aim to make the new terminal compatible with satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO).
In November, OneWeb and Intelsat demonstrated integrated GEO and LEO broadband services on u8 and other terminals with the U.S. Army.
Kymeta announced Sept. 7 that u8, which the antenna maker said is serving undisclosed customers in GEO, achieved 200 megabits per second (Mbps) downlink speeds on OneWeb’s LEO network during field tests.
OneWeb is working with multiple antenna manufacturers, including Intellian Technologies and Raytheon Technologies subsidiary Collins Aerospace. The LEO operator is also exploring partnership opportunities with South Korean conglomerate Hanwha, which has invested in OneWeb.
OneWeb currently operates 358 satellites of a planned 648-strong constellation, following its latest launch Oct. 14.
The venture aims to begin commercial services in the upper part of the Northern Hemisphere this month and deploy some 290 remaining satellites before the end of 2022 to provide global connectivity services.