‘OneWeb to spur rural connectivity’
Bharti Global, the overseas arm of Bharti Enterprises, and the UK government invested USD 1 billion in new equity in OneWeb, which has 650 low-Earth orbit satellites.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 03:46 IST
OneWeb, a broadband satellite communications company that was acquired by a consortium of investors comprising the UK government and Bharti Global, will boost rural broadband connectivity in India and other developing countries, including those in Africa, said Sunil Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises.
“For rural broadband, I would say Africa, India and less developed countries will benefit from OneWeb’s satellite network. They will have the biggest benefit. For critical applications such as defence, the ministry of defence in the UK is already engaging with us because they need connectivity in very remote areas,” Mittal told Mint on Friday.
Mittal’s comments come amid the Centre’s push to enhance broadband connectivity in both urban and rural areas as remote working due to Covid-led restrictions has increased dependency on wireless networks, hurting the quality of services.
Bharti Global, the overseas arm of Bharti Enterprises, and the UK government, through the UK secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, invested $1 billion in new equity in OneWeb, which has 650 low-Earth orbit satellites.
Headquartered in the UK, OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of March after failing to secure $2 billion financing from lead shareholder SoftBank Group. The portfolio companies of Bharti Global and its units include Bharti Airtel Ltd, OneWeb, Gleneagles and Hoxton Hotels, Emtel and Hike.