Eutelsat reports OneWeb delay due to ground network availability

Eutelsat Group has issued a trading update indicating that services on the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) network “are running behind schedule relative to the original roadmap”, with the company adjusting its financial projections for the year as a result.

The statement from the satellite operator notes that the OneWeb network has 100% of its satellites in place but has been impacted by delays in the availability of the ground network, with mobility markets like maritime among those to be affected.

Nevertheless, Eutelsat said that “The deployment of the ground network is progressing well, towards a 90% completion rate in Q2 2024. We continue to see strong momentum in the take-up of pre-signed commitments with major customers, and we believe we are on track towards our longer-term targets.”

Eutelsat reported a backlog of $1.1 billion in orders for OneWeb services at the end of the last quarter, though this includes an existing $275m ‘Take-or-Pay’ agreement with Eutelsat itself.

“Management remains confident in the prospects of OneWeb and the potential of Eutelsat Group’s unique combined GEO-LEO offer. As the constellation achieves full global operational coverage, we anticipate an acceleration in revenues and continue to target double-digit CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in revenues and adjusted EBITDA between FY 2024 and FY 2028,” the company said.

Financial projections were also adjusted based on the fact that the firm has seen a revenue mix more oriented than expected towards the sale of user terminals, which impacts margins.

In related news, Eutelsat OneWeb has also announced that it has completed a deal to sell its 50% share in the Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS) joint venture to its partner Airbus US Space & Defense, making Airbus the sole owner of AOS and its satellite manufacturing facility in Florida, US.

Established in 2016, Airbus OneWeb Satellites built more than 600 satellites at the rate of two per day for the OneWeb first generation constellation, currently operating on-orbit.

“This agreement furthers our position as a market leader in the small satellite constellation business, building on our successful partnership with OneWeb,” said Robert Geckle, Chairman and CEO, Airbus US Space & Defense.

“We will continue mass producing small satellites for our customers and are excited for what the future holds for us on Florida’s Space Coast as we move forward.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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