New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Bharti Enterprises on Thursday said it has acquired a strategic minority stake in OneWeb, which is supported by a global consortium with an aim to provide affordable internet access to all.
As one of the founding members of OneWeb, Bharti will have representation on the board of OneWeb on Thursday announced $500 million in funding from its investors to take forward its mission, Bharti said in a statement here.
OneWeb’s mission is to enable affordable internet access for everyone and the company aims to build a communications network with an initial constellation of 648 Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world.
The OneWeb User Terminals contain embedded LTE, 3G, 2G and Wifi access capabilities that extend the reach of mobile operators.
Bharti Airtel, a Bharti group company, will be able to leverage the investment by becoming a preferred distributor of these services across its operations.
“OneWeb, an innovative system backed by leading global corporations, will complement the efforts of governments and telecom operators across the globe to take internet to the masses,” said Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.
“The dream of fully bridging the digital divide is on track to be a reality in 2019,” said Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb.
OneWeb has also raised investment from Airbus Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Salinas, Hughes Network Systems, (Hughes), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corp., Intelsat, Qualcomm Incorporated and Virgin Group. The company plans to start services by 2019.