Revolutionizing Connectivity in the North: SSC, OneWeb, and Northwestel Collaborate on a New Satellite Network Portal in Yellowknife

May 20, 2023
In a strategic move poised to dramatically improve connectivity in Northern Canada, the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has partnered with OneWeb, a leading UK-based low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company. The collaboration involves a ten-year contract, during which a new OneWeb Satellite Network Portal (SNP) will be established in Yellowknife, NT, Canada.

The inception of the new SNP signals an era of increased bandwidth, performance, and resilience for all active OneWeb services in the northern region. SSC, with over five decades of experience in partnering with satellite telecom businesses and managing 10 global ground stations, brings a wealth of expertise to the venture.

Further boosting the project’s potential, Northwestel, a Bell subsidiary that provides services across various northern Canadian regions, will be responsible for ground connectivity. Northwestel’s involvement underpins the assertion by its Vice President of business markets, Paul Gillard, that the company’s investments are attracting global interest to the northern region.

The upcoming ground station will be built in Yellowknife’s Eagle Business District, within the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. Det’on Cho Environmental, a local organization, will assist with environmental assessments and permitting, ensuring a conscientious approach to the project.

With its completion slated for Q4 2023, the ground station will act as a gateway for OneWeb’s satellite broadband internet in Canada. SSC will oversee the development of the site infrastructure and provide maintenance and on-site support for ten years.

Erwin Mercado, SSC Head of Americas, expressed the company’s commitment to meeting customer requirements while managing local subcontractors. OneWeb, concurrently merging with French satellite operator Eutelsat, has plans to build more than 40 ground stations globally to support its 600-plus satellites. As of the end of 2022, the company’s ground network includes coverage of the UK, Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Arctic seas.