Network Access Associates, a UK based organisation that is also part of the OneWeb Group of companies, on Friday announced that it would be acquiring a 74% stake in OneWeb India Communications, given as to how the Indian unit is hearing up to enter the bandwidth leasing business prior to launching speedy satellite-based broadband services in India, starting from 2022.
As of now, OneWeb India is completely owned by Nettle Infrastructure Investments, which is a Bharti Airtel owned unit. A person aware of the matter stated to ET Telecom that Network Access Associates, which is a wholly-owned arm of the Bharti Global-backed OneWeb UK, would be acquiring a significant majority of the portion of Nettle Infra’s stake in OneWeb India.
In case you did not know, Bharti Airtel is itself owned by Bharti group of companies, with Bharti Global being the overseas arm of the enterprises, which is the holding company of Bharti Airtel, India’s second-best telecom operator.
UK’s OneWeb stakeholders, inclusive of Bharti Global, the UK government, SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems, are represented in NAA. Eutelsat will also be represented post the French geostationary satellite operator’s stated 24% stake purchase in OneWeb-UK achieves closure. OneWeb group, however, did not reply to any queries put forth by ET.
What Do We Know About OneWeb’s Future Plans in India
OneWeb India Communications, which applied for a GMPCS permit to the Department of Telecommunications or DoT, is supposedly going to lease a chunk of the company’s satellite bandwidth capacity in order to offer cellular connectivity services to the likes of Bharti Airtel and other telcos that are facing challenges when it comes to offering uninterrupted 4G coverage in India’s rural and remote areas.
OneWeb India could also offer its satellite-based connectivity to private Internet of Things or IoT networks in the country by using its in-country earth station gateways that are currently in the works. The telecom regulator is also going to aid the widening of the scope of GMPCS licences to allow connectivity to IoT devices within a particular area.
On a global scale, OneWeb is gearing up for a global constellation of approximately 650 low-earth-orbit satellites that will be used to provide fast internet-from-spaces services over the world. It is also preparing to deliver high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband services in rural areas globally inclusive of India, with the aim to liken its service to SpaceX and Project Kuiper. OneWeb is also supposedly going to roll out satellite internet services in India by the month of June 2022.