Kymeta Corp., the antenna venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has signed onto a joint development agreement with OneWeb to develop a flat-panel user terminal for OneWeb’s global satellite internet network.
The plan calls for modifying Kymeta’s u8 antenna system for fixed-terminal applications on land, with an eye toward supporting additional applications including mobile service in land-based and maritime settings.
Today’s announcement comes just weeks after Redmond, Wash.-based Kymeta and OneWeb reported a successful test of Kymeta’s u8 technology, which takes advantage of an exotic category of electronics known as metamaterials. The technology makes it possible to “steer” an antenna electronically rather than physically moving it.
OneWeb is one of several ventures that is creating satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, or LEO, to broaden access to broadband internet service. SpaceX’s Starlink service is furthest along, but OneWeb is planning to begin limited service in the Arctic within the next few months. The plan calls for Kymeta’s terminals to enter the market as an option by the third quarter of 2022.