OneWeb at the Helm of Recent Satellite Launch after Bail Out4th Jan 2021
The UK has long held grand space ambitions, and these came into fruition with the launch of the recent satellite by OneWeb. OneWeb is a network owned partially by the UK government. It aims to compete with the broadband network provided by Elon Musk.
Before this launch, OneWeb was a struggling startup and was bailed out by the UK government. Businessman Sunil Mittal is an Indian billionaire who joined forces with the UK’s national government to come to OneWeb’s aid.
Furthermore, the bailout for OneWeb was to the tune of $1 billion, which resulted in the two getting shares in the company. It’s seen as a risky investment but a step in the right direction for British space ambitions.
UK and India Partnership through OneWeb
The new partnership between India and the UK saw the launch of 36 satellites and is a significant step ahead for the two countries. Despite reservations from some civil servants in the UK, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, proceeded with the mission. Also, he’s due to visit India soon for a trade deal between the two countries.
Post-Brexit UK is now spreading its wings, according to Mittal. Now there are plenty of opportunities that the two countries can take advantage of and collaborate for a brighter future. Also, the UK can freely discuss trade deals and other issues with India.
On the other hand, the investment has raised many eyebrows regarding the satellite launch for OneWeb. Both Bharti Enterprise and the UK government now have a stake in OneWeb. Still, it’s worth mentioning that other similar internet providers are yet to turn a profit for similar missions so far.
Broadband networks are complicated and expensive to operate. However, OneWeb now boasts of 110 satellites after the recent satellite launch. The network has a goal of sending more into orbit to reach a target of 648.
With the current 110 satellites in orbit, OneWeb has a vision of providing commercial internet services. According to Mittal, the investors hope to turn a profit after two years as many other industry partners show interest.
So far, OneWeb has a funding gap of $1.5 billion for satellite launch which the partners hope they can get financiers and satellite operators on board with the idea.