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OneWeb has become the first to bring its Ku- and Ka-bands spectrum rights aboard its orbiting internet satellites into use, compelling other satellite operators such as SpaceX and Blue Origin to design their systems around its spectrum. This also means OneWeb has met the first-come-first served rules set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

OneWeb is a 12 year-old American startup based in London that aims to provide internet access to “everyone, everywhere.” On Feb. 27, OneWeb successfully launched its first six satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).

OneWeb says being the first to file its claim and have it validated by the ITU will also mean signals from other operators such as SpaceX with its Starlink megaconstellation must not interfere with its own. ITU rules oblige latecomers (in this case, SpaceX and Blue Origin) to preserve the quality of services offered by an incumbent, in this case OneWeb.

OneWeb said its six satellites have been transmitting at the designated frequencies in the correct orbit for more than 90 days. This means OneWeb has met the requirements to secure spectrum bands over which it has priority rights under ITU rules. It also means OneWeb has met the “use-it-or-lose-it” spectrum conditions set by the ITU.

“That could mean a longer road to the finish line for others than it is for us,” said Ruth Pritchard-Kell

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