TAMPA, Fla. — Mangata Networks, a US satellite startup founded by a former OneWeb executive, has applied for a UK license to connect broadband terminals to its planned multi-orbit constellation.
The startup expects to start services in the United Kingdom and in North America and Northern Europe by 2025, according to a license application from British telecoms regulator Ofcom published on September 20.
These initial services would follow two launches of a total of eight satellites in 2024 to a highly elliptical orbit (HEO).
Phoenix, Arizona-based Mangata announced plans last year for a research and development center in Edinburgh, Scotland, to develop its technologies, though the startup has not said who will build or launch its satellites.
Plans for the center followed an investment of around $4 million from Scotland’s national economic development agency.
Mangata ultimately plans to deploy 224 satellites in HEO and 567 in medium Earth orbit to provide services in fixed and mobility markets, including cellular backhaul and aviation.
The startup aims to connect these satellites to phased array antennas less than a meter in diameter and parabolic reflectors larger than a meter, depending on the application.
User terminals less than a meter in diameter would be capable of speeds of 50-500 megabits per second (Mbps), according to Mangata, while larger terminals would serve “capacities of 500 Mbps and more.”
Mangata’s network would use Ka-band spectrum for both its terminals and gateways.
Only Starlink and SpaceX’s OneWeb currently have permission to connect user terminals in the UK to satellites in non-geostationary orbit (NGSO). These operators deploy terminals in the Ku band.
Ofcom said it is continuing to review an application from Canada’s Telesat for an NGSO ground station network license for its Lightspeed constellation, which also plans to operate both gateways and terminals in the Ka band.
The regulator recently decided to extend its deadline to make a decision on Telesat’s application until October 14 after asking the Canadian company for more information on its application.
Ofcom is inviting public comment on Mangata’s license application before October 18.
Magnata was founded by Brian Holz, former OneWeb vice president of space systems and CEO of OneWeb Satellites, the joint venture the operator shares with Airbus to build its satellites.
In January, Mangata said it had raised $33 million in a Series A funding round led by Playground Global, the US venture capital firm that previously invested in rocket developer Relativity Space.