Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading satellite operators, and with this funding of OneWeb, the company is obtaining an approximate 24% equity stake in the latter. This places the French firm on board as a significant partner standing shoulder to shoulder with the UK Government, Bharti Global, and SoftBank.
“We now have 80% of the necessary financing for the Gen 1 fleet, of which nearly 30% is already in space. Eutelsat’s global distribution network advances the market entry opportunities for OneWeb and we look forward to working together to capitalise on the growth opportunity and accelerate the pace of execution,” comments OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson.
Founded in 2012 by Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s 648 low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation aims to deliver high-speed, low latency connectivity to the entire planet. I.e. in those oh-so-hard-to-find-a-signal places, OneWeb will be there. I mean, Skynet needs a network to function on in the first place, right?
On Monday, the company successfully launched another 36 satellites, bring the total number to 182. According to OneWeb, they have two more launches to go and will then have the ability to begin offering connectivity services to the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada.
“We are excited to become a shareholder and partner in OneWeb in the run-up to its commercial launch later in the year and to participate in the substantial opportunity represented by the LEO segment within our industry,” adds Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer.” We are confident in OneWeb’s right-to-win thanks to its earliness to market, priority spectrum rights, and evolving, scalable technology.”