Global provider of advanced space services Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) announced on Wednesday that it has signed a ten-year contract with UK-based low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb to build and manage a new OneWeb Satellite Network Portal (SNP) in Yellowknife, NT, Canada.
The new SNP will be responsible for delivering increased bandwidth, performance and resiliency to all active OneWeb services across Northern Canada.
SSC has been partnering with telecom satellite businesses for more than 50 years, operating 10 ground stations globally including the Inuvik Satellite Station in Northern Canada.
Bell subsidiary Northwestel, which currently serves communities across Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern British Columbia, and High Level, Alberta, will provide the ground connectivity to support the SNP.
“Our investments in a strong northern fibre network are attracting global investment in more projects North of 60, bringing real benefits to our communities,” said Paul Gillard, vice president of business markets, Northwestel. “We are proud to be partnering on bringing next-generation technology to Northern markets.”
The new ground station will be on the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and Det’on Cho Environmental will be providing local guidance on environmental assessments and permitting.
Construction is currently underway in Yellowknife’s Eagle Business District. The new ground station will serve as a gateway for OneWeb satellite broadband internet in Canada, and will feature 27 antenna bases once completed by Q4 2023.
The SSC will oversee the development of the site infrastructure and will provide maintenance and on-site support once it is operating, for a period of ten years.
“We have accompanied OneWeb throughout many milestones and decision points, based on our worldwide presence and long experience in the field of ground infrastructure and project management,” said Erwin Mercado, SSC head of Americas. “For each one of OneWeb’s gateway construction projects, our highly experienced engineering team manages all the local subcontractors and works tightly together with OneWeb to ensure we meet all customer requirements.”
OneWeb, which is currently undergoing a merger with French satellite operator Eutelsat, is developing more than 40 ground stations globally to support its more than 600 satellites according to Data Center Dynamics. By the end of 2022, the company said its ground network included coverage of the UK, Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Arctic seas.