OneWeb upbeat on Thailand's regional role
text size

OneWeb upbeat on Thailand's regional role

Commercial service to start in September

Neha Idnani, regional vice president – Asia Pacific connectivity business unit of Eutelsat Oneweb (right) and Bala Balamurali, vice president – South East and East Asia connectivity business unit.
Neha Idnani, regional vice president – Asia Pacific connectivity business unit of Eutelsat Oneweb (right) and Bala Balamurali, vice president – South East and East Asia connectivity business unit.

OneWeb, a low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation satellite company owned and operated by the Eutelsat Group, is committed to helping Thai companies and residents benefit from its leading-edge low latency satellite connectivity services on land, at sea and in the skies.

The commercial service is expected to be available from September in Thailand, along with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), said Neha Idnani, regional vice-president of the Asia-Pacific connectivity business unit of Eutelsat OneWeb.

Ms Idnani said the firm and Thailand's state telecom enterprise National Telecom (NT) have jointly committed to making investments worth US$25 million in local infrastructure to help make OneWeb's services become a reality in the region.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) approved on May 27 the NT-OneWeb partnership to provide a satellite broadband internet service in Thailand under NT's landing rights.

Ms Idnani said Thailand is now at the centre of OneWeb's regional network serving markets such as Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Eutelsat operates 35 geostationary (GEO) satellites and 634 LEO satellites. It is the world's only GEO-LEO satellite operator.

Through the landing rights in Thailand held by NT, the firm is to bring the benefits of OneWeb's satellite technology to the country while NT's gateway licence enables the operation of NT's gateway in Ubon Ratchathani province.

GEO satellites are located at an altitude of around 36,000 kilometres and OneWeb LEO satellites orbit the earth in polar orbits located at an altitude of 1,200km.

Each GEO satellite is capable of covering roughly one third of the Earth's surface, whereas LEO satellites, simply by being located almost 30 times closer to the Earth, cover a much smaller area.

Ships, aircraft and remote locations on land depend on satellites for their connectivity requirements.

Besides providing coverage, LEO satellites also provide low-latency connectivity to user terminals on the ground.

"Low latency is important for latency sensitive applications," Ms Idnani said.

The machine-to-machine connectivity, autonomous operation of remote equipment, remote medical and financial applications are some example applications that will benefit from lower latency than that provided by GEO satellites.

"As such, LEO satellites are to be seen as complementing GEO satellite capabilities," she said.


Bala Balamurali, vice-president of Southeast and East Asia connectivity business for Eutelsat OneWeb, said its LEO services will only be provided through its authorised distribution partners (DPs).

In Thailand, OneWeb entered into agreements to offer its services through NT, Nation Space And Technology Co Ltd (NSAT), which is a joint venture between NT and SET-listed Thaicom, along with mu Space and Advanced Technology (MuSpace).

While OneWeb makes the satellite constellation, ground gateways and ground networks available, the DPs offer the services in each market. Each Thai DP has its own marketing and distribution plan.

There is roughly 5 gigabits per second (Gbps) of OneWeb capacity across Thailand and the CLMV region. Using this high-quality low latency capacity, the company expects its partners to be able to run profitable businesses.

Mr Balamurali said OneWeb has a sophisticated security architecture that is robust, resilient and designed to meet the sophisticated requirements of its customers.

"We use state-of-the-art technology, combined with multiple levels of encryption, to keep customers' data safe, and we continuously monitor our network in real time to detect any would-be intrusions from malicious actors or other potential cyberthreats," Mr Balamurali noted.

Previously, NT president Col Sanphachai Huvanandana said NT would benefit through the partnership by acquiring a fee from gateway and facilities provided to Oneweb's service as well as via a revenue-sharing basis under which NT would wholesale some parts of Oneweb's satellite broadband capacity to the market.

Do you like the content of this article?