06 July 2020
The UK government and Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel are the new proud owners of US satellite operator OneWeb.
The company, which declared bankruptcy in March, is expected to receive US$500m from each shareholder and pursue its ambition to offer Internet everywhere on earth.
AFP says government spokesman said the country's investment in Oneweb "will help make the UK a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing and exploitation of new technologies for the satellites ”.
The takeover of OneWeb has yet to be approved by US authorities, including the justice and market competition regulator. The buyout is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 if all goes well. It will then translate an exit from the crisis for OneWeb, whose setbacks began after the loss of new financing of US$2bn expected from the Japanese Softbank.
The funds injected by the United Kingdom and Bharti Airtel will enable OneWeb to pursue its objective of launching a constellation of satellites in low orbit to provide broadband Internet worldwide. Currently, OneWeb has only launched 74 satellites out of 648. With its buyers, it can already prepare the deployment of additional satellites.