TechCrunch: OneWeb satellite operator cuts 10% of staff and warns of possible launch delays
OneWeb startup, which plans to provide high-speed satellite Internet in inaccessible areas, reduced 10% of the state in mid-March 2020. TechCrunch writes about it.
The information about dismissals was confirmed in the startup, without specifying the total number of fired people. The company explained that OneWeb was affected by the economic crisis, and the startup had to give up some positions to focus on key operations.
OneWeb also did not rule out delays in scheduled launches and changes in satellite production plans due to travel ban restrictions and supply chain disruptions, TechCrunch said.
On March 19, Bloomberg citing sources said the company is considering filing a bankruptcy suit and other options to cope with the lack of funds amid strong competition from SpaceX and Amazon. OneWeb declined to comment.
On March 21 OneWeb launched 34 satellites into orbit, increasing the total number of devices in its own near-Earth network to 74. Total satellite network of OneWeb, according to the plans of the company, should include 650 devices by the end of 2021, notes the BBC.
Since its inception in 2012, the startup has attracted about US$3 billion from SoftBank, Qualcomm, Virgin Group, Coca-Cola, US$2.4 billion of which were invested by the Asian Investment Fund. The goal of OneWeb is to provide Internet access throughout the planet using a satellite system.
SpaceX intends to create a Starlink network of 12,000 satellites, 350 of which are already in orbit. Within the Kuiper project, Amazon plans to create a network of 3236 satellites. None of them have yet been launched. The company is obliged to send at least one satellite into orbit by 2026.