April 2, 2018

Battlestar Satellactica: OneWeb vs. SpaceX 

The satellite space race is on between SoftBank-backed OneWeb and SpaceX, which just received permission from the FCC to launch over 4k satellites into low orbit. Both companies aspire to build satellite constellations — clusters of thousands of small satellites that will deliver internet connectivity to the whole planet — but they have a few […]

The satellite space race is on between SoftBank-backed OneWeb and SpaceX, which just received permission from the FCC to launch over 4k satellites into low orbit.

Both companies aspire to build satellite constellations — clusters of thousands of small satellites that will deliver internet connectivity to the whole planet — but they have a few years to go before either of them is ready to blast off.

The clash of the telecoms

Until last week, it appeared that OneWeb was ready for interstellar domination: They have first priority from the UN to use the radio spectrum satellites need to transmit signals, and the advantage of a 120k-square-foot factory capable of building a satellite in just 8 hours.

Now, SpaceX has the FCC’s approval to use some of that bandwidth for their own machines and turn that red tape into stardust.

They’re both shooting for the moon… 

Only time will tell who lands among the stars. Sitting in the captain’s seat of the OneWeb starship is none other Greg Wyler, the man who built Africa’s first 3G and fiber telecommunications network.

But, don’t underestimate the future President of Mars — Elon Musk has a strong track record of executing against his starry ambitions, and last month, he launched the first 2 satellites of his future constellation.

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