Bharti Enterprises has announced that a UK government consortium led by Bharti has won the bid for OneWeb. The deal will enable OneWeb to complete the construction of a global satellite constellation that will provide enhanced broadband and other services to mobile and fixed terminals in countries around the world.
OneWeb was formed with a mission to offer high speed, low latency wireless broadband access to billions of people across the globe, especially in rural areas through a constellation of satellites in low earth orbit. Bharti was one of the founding members of OneWeb and had a strategic stake in the company.
Commenting on the development, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman Bharti Enterprises said: “I am delighted that Bharti will be leading the effort to deliver the promise of universal broadband connectivity through OneWeb, with the active support and participation of the British Government.”
“In addition to the strategic opportunities across a wide range of other applications and working with a broad range of international partners, this business has substantial commercial use cases across the telecoms, enterprise, aviation and maritime sectors. With strong operational execution, we will be able to generate an attractive return for investors, while ensuring that Britain plays a leading role in space and next generation communications.”
“In addition to these commercial and strategic benefits, OneWeb’s platform will help to reduce the “digital divide” by providing high speed, low latency broadband access to the poor and hard-to-reach rural areas. A low-earth orbit constellation is the only viable mechanism through which the “last billion” can be connected. As one of the largest telecoms operators in India and Africa, I know what a powerful social and economic enabler this can be. We will work with partners around the world to deliver this technology to those who need it the most.”
“I commend the Bharti Global team – led by Shravin Bharti Mittal – and our partners in the Government for bringing together this strong consortium, and putting together the winning bid, within such a short timeframe.”
“On a personal note, I am particularly excited about the opportunity for India and the UK to deepen their cooperation on space. Further, India’s leading edge capabilities in the space program through The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) can be leveraged to accelerate OneWeb’s ambitions.”
Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s major business groups with diversified interests in telecom, financial services, real estate, hospitality, agriculture and food industries. Bharti Airtel is a global telecoms company with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa. Airtel ranks amongst the top three mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.
Bharti Global, the overseas arm of Bharti, operates from London. Bharti Global has numerous investments in telecoms, technology, hospitality, transportation and energy. Some of the portfolio companies of Bharti Global and its subsidiaries include – Airtel, One Web, Gleneagles and Hoxton Hotels, Emtel, Hike and Triton International.
Unbound, a global investment firm founded by Shravin Bharti Mittal, provides long-term capital to disruptive technology companies. Its portfolio include Databricks, mPharma, FreightHub, Deep Instinct and Cars24.
OneWeb‘s vision is to enable internet access for governments, businesses and people everywhere. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.