Broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) has agreed in principle to invest $50m in the winning consortium, led by the UK government and Bharti Enterprises, that will take OneWeb out of bankruptcy.
Additionally, Hughes will continue as a trusted technology and distribution partner to OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite operator which launched 74 satellites before filing for bankruptcy in March.
“We are pleased to be part of this winning team, along with the British Government and Bharti,” Pradman Kaul, President, Hughes, was quoted as saying. “Our continuing and strengthened involvement with OneWeb extends naturally from our position as a leading geostationary satellite operator and ground network innovator, along with a meaningful partnership with Bharti and longstanding relationship with the UK through our business operations in both countries.”
Kaul added: “This global consortium brings the right players together to fulfil the promise of the OneWeb constellation in deploying low-latency services for communities, enterprises, governments, aeroplanes and ships – complementing geostationary connectivity and ushering in the new era of multi-transport services that will serve growing bandwidth demand around the world. We look forward to doing our part in developing this groundbreaking technology and bringing those services to market.”
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises added: “We are delighted to welcome Hughes to the consortium. The investment by Hughes underlines OneWeb’s exciting commercial prospects, reflected in the ongoing discussions with some of the world’s leading strategic and financial investors.”
Consummation of the consortium is contingent upon execution and effectiveness of definitive agreements. Confirmation of OneWeb’s reorganisation is contingent on certain conditions established by the Bankruptcy Court.
Further, Hughes Communications India Ltd, (HCIL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes, and Bharti Airtel Limited are in the process of combining their satellite broadband operations in India, a merger which was announced in 2019.