Telstra and Eutelsat OneWeb deploy LEO backhaul in Australia


Tuesday, 20 February, 2024

Telstra and Eutelsat OneWeb deploy LEO backhaul in Australia

Telstra and Eutelsat OneWeb, part of Eutelsat Group, have jointly announced that the world’s largest rollout of OneWeb low Earth orbit (LEO) cellular backhaul is currently underway in Australia.

As part of the rollout, Telstra this month attempted an on-air voice call using Eutelsat OneWeb’s LEO solution at a site in Oxford Falls, Sydney. This is understood to be the first time a satellite backhaul call has been conducted on a commercial mobile network with a guaranteed quality level of services in Australia.

The Oxford Falls site is the first of more than 300 existing remote mobile base station sites currently using satellite backhaul that will be connected with Eutelsat OneWeb’s LEO solution over the next 18 months. In time, this capability will help Telstra expand mobile coverage as it supports new site deployments. A key feature of Eutelsat OneWeb’s service is the provision of service level agreements (SLAs) and committed information rates which promise a specified quality of service and performance.

Iskra Nikolova, Telstra Executive for Network and Infrastructure, said the rollout of LEO-enabled backhaul to remote mobile sites will enable the telco to “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,” Nikolova added.

“The average bandwidth for these sites will increase at least 15x, and the average latency will reduce 10-fold. We’re very proud of this world-first achievement to have a LEO backhaul that guarantees that level of quality service.”

Telstra has been working with Eutelsat OneWeb to test and deploy the satellite operator’s latest technology, and will continue providing input into its future products and capabilities. Cyril Dujardin, Co-General Manager of Eutelsat Group’s Connectivity Business Unit, said his company counts Telstra as one of its most trusted partners, stating, “We are delighted to support Telstra in delivering consistent, leading-edge connectivity to its customers in Australia, regardless of location.”

Image credit: OneWeb.

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