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Bharti-backed OneWeb Launched 36 New LEO Satellites

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Bharti-backed OneWeb launches another 36 LEO satellites from Russian cosmodromeOneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator, co-owned by Bharti Global and the UK government, launched another batch of 36 satellites on 28 May 2021, which was carried out by European satellite launch company, Arianespace, from the Russian spaceport, Vostochny Cosmodrome.

  • OneWeb plans to launch a fleet of 648 LEO satellites as part of its high-speed, low-latency global connectivity and the current launch increased its total LEO satellite count to 218.
  • The satellites are built under a joint venture between OneWeb and the aerospace company, Airbus.

Key points:

i.This launch is a part of its ‘five to 50’ programme, which is meant to bring satellite-based broadband Internet to countries like the UK, Alaska, US, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas, and Canada by 2022.

ii.OneWeb had launched a previous wave of 36 satellites from the same spaceport in March 2021.

Recent Investments in OneWeb:

i.Currently, the total investments in the company is at $1.9 billion.

ii.In April 2021, a French geostationary satellite operator, Eutelsat invested $550 million (~Rs 4,103 crore) in OneWeb and acquired a 24 percent stake in it.

iii.In January 2021 Japan’s SoftBank Group and Hughes Network Systems LLC had invested $400 million in OneWeb.

iv.The company plans to enter the Indian boundaries in 2022 either by merging with a company to form a joint venture or by leasing a bandwidth capacity pact.

Recent Related News:

Nettle Infrastructure Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has acquired 100% stake (10, 000 shares) in OneWeb India Communications Pvt Ltd.

About Bharti Global:

Bharti Global is the overseas arm of Bharti Enterprises — the holding company of Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telco.

Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal

About OneWeb:

Establishment – 2020
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
Executive Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
CEO – Neil Masterson