Kymeta’s OneWeb Win

Kymeta announces successful OneWeb antenna tests

Kymeta tested its u8 terminal with OneWeb’s LEO constellation in France. Credit: Kymeta / OneWeb

Kymeta, creator of OneWeb, has just announced that their u8 broadband antennas have successfully completed testing, achieving approximately 200 Mbps downlink using only half of their planned satellites. OneWeb is almost halfway through launching their initial constellation of 648 satellites, with plans to launch more satellites this year. While already serving some customers in GEO, OneWeb is planned to service mobile users in the summer of 2022. Mobile users will be able to use the OneWeb service through a flat panel steerable antenna about the size of a briefcase, providing communications to even the most remote places on Earth with speeds about that of mid-grade home internet.

Kymeta explains that the u8 antenna terminal is capable of connecting to satellites in both GEO and LEO, with LTE connectivity for extra resiliency. Their main selling point is mobility “for the DoD, government, first responders, maritime — the whole move to always having communication, whether you’re on a train, a bus, supporting remote mining and agriculture. That’s really where we see ourselves being differentiated from other terminal manufacturers.”

While global connectivity is certainly the key to the future, proliferated communications leaves the door wide open to certain bad actors looking for a cyber-avenue to cause trouble. A balance must be struck with widespread satellite communications networks such as OneWeb and Starlink between high-speed communication and cybersecurity. While everyone on Earth may have connectivity to everyone else, therein lies an issue that all information is passed through the same channels. Nation-states, terrorist groups, and even thrillseekers might be interested in seeing what they might find within the radio waves. If not the information itself, they may just want to disrupt communications for another nefarious purpose. Going forward, cybersecurity must be first and foremost when constructing widespread networks.

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