OneWeb is to provide satellite backhaul services to Australian telco Telstra.

The companies this week announced what is described as one of the largest rollouts of OneWeb low Earth orbit (LEO) backhaul for a commercial mobile network to date.

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– OneWeb

Hundreds of existing remote mobile base stations currently using satellite backhaul will be moved on to OneWeb’s LEO solution later this year, and future satellite-reliant sites will also use OneWeb services. Sites under the OneWeb agreement will get up to 25Gbps of backhaul capacity.

Nikos Katinakis, Telstra group executive, global networks and technology, said: “It allows us to extend our options for our consumer, small business and enterprise customers in hard-to-reach places across rural and regional Australia - especially those that require added redundancy in the instance of a power or transmission incident.”

“Our initial focus is using the service as a backhaul medium to connect remote mobile base stations. In time, it also offers us the capability to deliver voice and fixed broadband services to regional Australia,” he added.

OneWeb’s services are anticipated to begin in Australia later this year. The Australian telco also aims to extend testing to explore using OneWeb’s services as back-up to fixed backhaul for “selected critical sites.”

David Thorn, VP of APAC at OneWeb, said: “This is a first for us in terms of its scale and integration. For the first time in Australia, we’re working with a major partner to deliver OneWeb’s service across an entire continent for the benefit of remote users including consumers, enterprises, and government agencies."

He added: “From our perspective, it's one of the largest single rollouts of LEO satellite capacity for mobile backhaul worldwide. Telstra will also be pivotal in collaborating with us on future generations of OneWeb product development.”

Last year Telstra and OneWeb signed a 10-year ground station deal that will see the Australian telco build and maintain three new teleports in Australia for the LEO satellite firm.

Wholesale-focused OneWeb has signed deals with a number of telcos, including Telefónica, BT, Orange, AT&T, Paratus, Veon, Sure, Tusass, and Airtel.