Breaking into an established market as a new provider can be an arduous and expensive task. Customer acquisition is rarely cheap, and where government regulations are involved the qualification process can be even more challenging. Buying access via an established player can often be easier and cheaper. And that’s precisely what OneWeb is hoping for with this week’s news.
The LEO satellite operator announced plans to acquire Texas-based TrustComm Inc., enabling OneWeb to offer its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network and connectivity services to U.S. government clients and TrustComm customers.
OneWeb’s acquisition of TrustComm underpins our strategy to rapidly scale satellite communications service to the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies as they look to integrate high throughput, low latency solutions to meet new connectivity demands.– Dylan Browne, OneWeb Head of Government Services
The TrustComm operation, based at the highly secure Ellington Joint Base in Houston, Texas, offers services ranging from broadband Internet access, VoIP and voice, video conferencing and data communications for business continuity to emergency response, tactical field deployment, and temporary use.
As part of the OneWeb family the company can offer DoD and other government clients a new suite of services with network speeds up to 195 Mbps, lower latency, smaller and more compact multi-orbit user terminals, as well as built-in network management tools providing substantial economic savings over traditional GEO sales models.
The acquisition follows the successful demonstration of OneWeb’s turnkey satellite-based communications system to the DoD in March of 2021, with data rates up to 500Mbps at latency levels as low as 32ms. The demonstration also illustrated the seamless handover of connectivity between multiple LEO satellites as they passed overhead.
OneWeb’s Head of Government Services Dylan Browne is particularly keen on the potential for delivering connectivity at remote locations in Alaska and the Arctic. Those regions are covered by the initial coverage footprint for the OneWeb network, with service north of 50 degrees north expected online later this year. OneWeb anticipates delivering full global coverage with its LEO network by the end of 2022.
The new entity will operate as a proxy subsidiary of OneWeb with TrustComm’s current CEO Bob Roe leading the operation. Terms of the transaction are confidential, and it is expected to close in 2021, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.
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