Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) has entered into an agreement with OneWeb for the subscription of a c.24% equity stake, becoming a leading shareholder of the company alongside the UK Government and Bharti Global. Eutelsat will invest $550 million in OneWeb, with closing expected in H2 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations.
With much of its global network already deployed, the OneWeb constellation, which enjoys valuable ITU-backed priority spectrum rights, will operate 648 satellites in low orbit (LEO) offering low latency. This first generation of satellites will offer significant regional coverage by the end of 2021, reaching global coverage the following year. OneWeb will be the first complete non-geostationary constellation with truly global coverage, significantly ahead of competing projects.
It will deliver 1.1 Tbps of capacity addressing the government, fixed data and mobility markets. Plans include a second-generation constellation that will provide significant enhancements in terms of capacity, flexibility and economics. It anticipates annual revenues of circa $1 billion within three to five years following the full deployment of the constellation, with a partnership approach and profitable wholesale business model. Eutelsat’s investment leaves OneWeb almost fully funded and the company is well advanced in terms of securing its remaining funding needs this year.