London’s OneWeb and Hughes partner for Low Earth Orbit satellite broadband service to India

OneWeb, a London-based low Earth orbit satellite communications company, and Hughes Network Systems, announced a strategic six-year Distribution Partner agreement to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity services across India.

The arrangement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd is a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited, which follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the companies in September 2021.

The UK company will connect towns, villages, and local and regional municipalities in those hardest-to-reach areas.

OneWeb’s most recent satellite launch on 27 December 2021 brought its total in-orbit satellites to 394, over 60 percent of the planned 648 LEO satellite fleet.

It plans to commence global service by the end of 2022 as demand continues from telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, ISPs, and governments worldwide for its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services.

Partho Banerjee, president, and managing director, HCIPL, said:

This announcement marks a turning point for Digital India. Enterprise and government customers, including telecom service providers, banks, factories, schools, defense organizations, domestic airlines, and offshore vessel operators, are eagerly anticipating the arrival of new high-performing Satcom services. We look forward to bringing them high-speed, low-latency services from HCIPL using OneWeb capacity—and catapulting India to the cutting edge of connectivity.

Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb, commented:

OneWeb is delighted to partner with Hughes to offer high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband solutions and contribute to the Digital India vision. OneWeb’s constellation will cover the length and breadth of India, from Ladakh to Kanyakumari ,and from Gujarat to the Northeast, and bring secure solutions to enterprises, governments, telcos, airline companies, and maritime customers. OneWeb will invest in setting up enabling infrastructure such as Gateways and PoPs in India to light up the services.