OneWeb Satellite Venture(OneWeb), Thursday announced that it has raised $500 million of funding from a group of leading international companies to send more than 600 microsatellites to orbit to provide low-cost global Internet access. OneWeb which was initially backed by the Virgin Group and Qualcomm, has attracted investment from the Airbus Group, Bharti Enterprises, Hughes Network Systems, Intelsat, Qualcomm, The Coca-Cola Company, and the Virgin Group. This funding will allow OneWeb to further develop key technologies to enable affordable broadband for rural and underdeveloped locations. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group, will be joining Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Dr. Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb, on the Board of Directors.
According to OneWeb, its OneWeb satellite system features OneWeb User Terminals which are optionally solar powered, and with their embedded LTE, 3G, 2G and Wifi access capabilities, will enable local Mobile Network Operators to extend their reach. The network will also provide unprecedented speeds and low latency access to ships, planes, trains and oil platforms while providing seamless interoperability with Intelsat’s fleet of Ku band satellites.