OneWeb Satellite Venture(OneWeb), Thursday announced that it has raised $500 million of funding from a group of leading international companies to send more than 600 microsatellites to orbit to provide low-cost global Internet access. OneWeb which was initially backed by the Virgin Group and Qualcomm, has attracted investment from the Airbus Group, Bharti Enterprises, Hughes Network Systems, Intelsat, Qualcomm, The Coca-Cola Company, and the Virgin Group. This funding will allow OneWeb to further develop key technologies to enable affordable broadband for rural and underdeveloped locations. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group, will be joining Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Dr. Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb, on the Board of Directors.
According to OneWeb, its OneWeb satellite system features OneWeb User Terminals which are optionally solar powered, and with their embedded LTE, 3G, 2G and Wifi access capabilities, will enable local Mobile Network Operators to extend their reach. The network will also provide unprecedented speeds and low latency access to ships, planes, trains and oil platforms while providing seamless interoperability with Intelsat’s fleet of Ku band satellites.
Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb
The dream of fully bridging the digital divide is on track to be a reality in 2019. Together with our committed and visionary founding shareholders we have the key elements in place: regulatory, technology, launches, satellites, as well as commercial operators in over 50 countries and territories. We are committed to solving one of the world’s biggest problems – enabling affordable broadband Internet access for everyone. We are excited about the next phase, which will involve working with countries, telecom operators and aid organizations to help them realize their goals of open and ubiquitous access.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises
Access to affordable high-speed Internet is a powerful tool for economic development and empowerment of populations, particularly, in emerging economies. OneWeb is an innovative platform backed by leading global corporations and will complement the efforts of Governments and telecom operators across the globe to take Internet to the masses. Having witnessed the deep positive impact of enabling communications across our global operations, Bharti is delighted to be a part of this initiative that will accelerate the journey towards building a digitally inclusive world.