Veon Group announced it will use OneWeb low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to extend its coverage in emerging markets.
In a statement, Veon Group CEO Kaan Terzioglu said: “We have always stated that our focus is ‘4G for all’ and that mobile communication is an essential service. Our partnership with OneWeb enables us to ensure that the continuity of this essential service can be secured everywhere, providing access to seamless connectivity and digital services, supporting resilience, and enabling growth.”
“We are excited to explore the possibilities this partnership will bring, from emergency connectivity in disaster response to enabling economic activity in remote regions, and to serving rural areas with mobile education, healthcare and financial services, complementing terrestrial connectivity.”
The company stated its operator units have “significantly increased their 4G coverage over the past 2 years” but now seems to be looking to plug gaps using LEO satellites, a trend that is rising among operators in emerging markets to enable faster natural disaster response and unlock economic growth.
Veon has operator units in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine. It is currently in the process of exiting Russia due to humanitarian reasons, following an exodus of Western firms from the country since the invasion of Ukraine began.
OneWeb has launched 544 satellites into orbit to date which accounts for 80% of its satellite constellation when completed in 2023.
Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, added: “OneWeb and VEON have a shared mission: to expand reliable, affordable and high-speed connectivity services to the places that need it most. With this partnership we can support the development of telecoms and digital infrastructure in emerging markets, working with VEON to ensure the essential roll-out of mobile connectivity."