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Bharti Group's OneWeb To Bring Satellite Internet To India By June 2022

Indiatimes logo Indiatimes 3 days ago Sarthak Dogra
a man wearing glasses © Provided by Indiatimes

OneWeb, a broadband satellite communications firm, has announced new ownership, with the British government and Bharti Group taking over the company on Friday. 

a man wearing glasses: Bharti Group-Led OneWeb To Bring Satellite Based Internet Network To India By June 2022 © Provided by Indiatimes Bharti Group-Led OneWeb To Bring Satellite Based Internet Network To India By June 2022

The change in possession accompanies a new management, with Indian telecom billionaire Sunil Mittal being the new Executive Chairman and Neil Masterson being the new CEO of OneWeb.

OneWeb is known for its efforts towards establishing a satellite based Internet network for governments, businesses and individuals. Much like Starlink initiative by SpaceX, the UK-based firm is setting up a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to enable a communications service in remote areas around the globe.

The company announced that an association of Bharti Global and the UK government, through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has invested USD 1 billion of new equity. The investment will work towards offering broadband connectivity services in several areas through a constellation of 650 LEO satellites.

OneWeb customised terminal (Image: OneWeb) © Provided by Indiatimes OneWeb customised terminal (Image: OneWeb)

“The company will ensure that the UK is at the forefront of a new commercial space industrial age, evolving technology and innovation, and will work with the UK commercial and academic space communities, along with other international specialists, in its research and development activities,” the company statement said.

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The takeover has pulled OneWeb from bankruptcy and the company is ready to recommence satellite launches starting December. Throughout 2021 and 2022, OneWeb will launch satellites to provide commercial connectivity services to the UK and the Arctic region in late 2021. It eventually aims to deliver global services by 2022.

“By May or June of 2022, we will have a full global coverage, including India,” Sunil Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said in an interaction with PTI. He further stated that OneWeb will have 290-300 satellites available by October next year.

a man wearing sunglasses posing for the camera: Sunil Bharti Mittal Chairman of India's Bharti Enterprises (Image: Reuters) © Provided by Indiatimes Sunil Bharti Mittal Chairman of India's Bharti Enterprises (Image: Reuters)

The PTI report mentions that testing for commercial services in India might begin later next year, eventually leading to a rollout by June 2022.

Mittal called the service a “game-changer”, saying “this is a telecom network in space.”

“There is unmet demand around the globe for broadband connectivity and we intend to continue OneWeb’s social mission. We will use our joint venture facility to drive down the cost of service, opening new use cases for low latency broadband provision,” he added.

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