OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite company recently sold a 24% stake of the company to Eutelsat for $550 million. For the unaware, Eutelsat is a major global satellite operator that has connections with governments across the globe. This investment is a good sign for OneWeb as it will be able to leverage the resources and connections of Eutelsat to expand operations faster.
This investment brings the company’s total funding to $1.9 billion and further makes Eutelsat a major stakeholder in the company along with Bharti Global, the U.K. Government, and SoftBank. As per a release from the company, the investment will be completed in the second half of 2021.
OneWeb Aims For $1 Billion Annual Revenues
Once OneWeb has completed the deployment of the full constellation of LEO satellites, the company expects to reach annual revenues of $1 billion in the third year or soon after that. OneWeb’s fleet of 648 satellites aims to provide high-speed internet to users with low latency.
OneWeb’s partnership with Eutelsat will enhance both the companies commercial potential around the globe. Eutelsat already has established enterprise customers and connections with governments across the world.
More importantly, the company has the technical expertise which it can pass on to OneWeb. At the same time, OneWeb excels in addressing the needs of several applications that require low-latency internet. By combining their resources, both the companies will be able to offer GEO/LEO satellite integrated services and packages in the future.
With this partnership, OneWeb not only secures more funding for fresh equity but also gets more resources for being able to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper. All three companies are in the race of providing the best LEO satellite internet services.
Starlink has already started accepting payments from Indians for pre-booking of the satellite internet connection. The company expects to start providing services in the Indian landscape by mid-2022 and that is the same time where we might see OneWeb coming to the Indian market as well.
It will be interesting to see how satellite broadband from OneWeb and Starlink will change the way people consume the internet in India.