Telstra has begun its rollout of the Eutelsat OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) cellular satellite in Australia to help customers better enhance their voice and video calls in rural and remote parts of the country.
This rollout follows the signing of a partnership last June that will see up to 25 gigabits of LEO capacity being delivered to Telstra’s most remote mobile customers across Australia. The telco claims this is the “world’s largest rollout” of the OneWeb LEO satellite.
As part of the rollout, Telstra last week made the first voice call on-air using Eutelsat OneWeb’s LEO solution at Oxford Falls in NSW.
The Oxford Falls site is the first of more than 300 existing remote mobile base station sites currently using satellite backhaul to be connected with Eutelsat OneWeb’s LEO solution over the next 18 months.
The telco has been building its satellite inventory, as Telstra also has a deal with Space X Starlink offering broadband to customers in remote parts of Australia.
Over the past few years, Australian telco brands have been working with Satellite companies to launch LEO cellular services, the NBN has its Sky Muster program and Optus has been collaborating with Space X Starlink.
With this LEO rollout, it will help Telstra expand its mobile coverage as it supports new site deployments.
Telstra executive for network and infrastructure Iskra Nikolova said this LEO rollout will “improve the customer experience in regional and remote areas with lower latency, higher speeds and a more consistent experience.”
“There’s also potential for Eutelsat OneWeb as a backup backhaul solution to improve reliability in areas where terrestrial backhaul is susceptible to natural disasters and communities find themselves in isolation,” she added.
“The average bandwidth for these sites will increase at least 15x, and the average latency will reduce tenfold. We’re very proud of this world-first achievement to have a LEO backhaul that guarantees that level of quality service.”
Eutelsat Group co-general manager of the company’s connectivity business unit, Cyril Dujardin said, “We are honoured to count Telstra among our most trusted partners, with whom we will continue to collaborate to test and deploy current and future technology.”
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