To provide satellite broadband services in India, Bharti Airtel and Hughes have announced a joint venture. The joint venture will be operational as HCIPL and will combine the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) businesses of both companies. This will enable the new joint venture in delivering scalable and flexible networking solutions using satellite connectivity for primary transport, backup, and hybrid implementation.
According to a joint release, the agreement between both the companies has received all the statutory approvals, including approvals from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). This has cemented the formation of the joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Hughes.
HCIPL Has a Combined Base of 200,000 VSATs
The entity will serve VSAT customers of both companies and has over 200,000 VSATs. With this, HCIPL is the largest satellite service operator in the country. The company is well-positioned to serve customers despite changing regulatory environment.
HCIPL provides services including broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services which include a full range of managed network services for enterprises, government offices across different segments like aeronautical, agriculture, maritime mobility, telecom backhaul and more.
Partho Banerjee, President and Managing Director (MD), HCIPL, said this partnership between the companies would bring synergies to the forefront — including multi-orbit solutions which benefit the customers of entire India.
Ajay Chitkara, Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Airtel Business, said that with the combined capabilities of Airtel and Hughes, customers would get access to next-gen satellite connectivity services backed by proven service support and enterprise-grade security.
Bharti Airtel is also expected to form a partnership with OneWeb, a Bharti Owned satellite communications (satcom) company that is expected to make its entry in India in 2022. OneWeb has indicated that it would focus on forming B2B partnerships and not entertain the direct consumer approach not only in India but in international markets as well. These partnerships might help Airtel in enhancing backhaul and delivering better quality telecom services.