Hughes Network Systems to invest US$50m to join OneWeb consortium

File photo shows a scale model of an Airbus OneWeb satellite and its solar panel are pictured as Airbus announces annual results in Blagnac, near Toulouse February 14, 2019. — Reuters pic
File photo shows a scale model of an Airbus OneWeb satellite and its solar panel are pictured as Airbus announces annual results in Blagnac, near Toulouse February 14, 2019. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, July 27 — US satellite broadband provider Hughes Network Systems has agreed to invest US$50 million (RM212.6 million) in the British government and Bharti-backed consortium buying collapsed satellite operator Oneweb.

Hughes previously partnered with OneWeb, which collapsed in late March with 74 out of a planned 650 satellites launched after top backer SoftBank Group Corp declined to provide further funding.

“This global consortium brings the right players together to fulfil the promise of the OneWeb constellation,” Hughes President Pradman Kaul said in a statement.

OneWeb has proved a money pit for its previous investors, hampered by rising costs and schedule delays, with the consortium needing to rebuild the hollowed-out firm.

The company’s commercial prospects are “reflected in the ongoing discussions with some of the world’s leading strategic and financial investors,” said Indian telecoms tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal, who founded Bharti Enterprises. — Reuters

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