LONDON (UK Government PR) — The government has today (3 July) led a successful bid to acquire OneWeb, which develops cutting-edge satellite technology in the UK and in the US.
The move signals the government’s ambition for the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies through the ownership of a fleet of Low Earth orbit satellites.
A consortium of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) (through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Bharti Global Limited have committed to provide more than USD$1 billion to acquire OneWeb and fund the full restart of its business operations.
OneWeb will look to resume operations as soon as possible and continue with progress towards providing global high-speed, low latency connectivity via its state-of-the-art satellite constellation.
Agreement remains subject to approval by OneWeb’s creditors, the Bankruptcy Court, and applicable regulators, with completion expected by the fourth quarter of 2020.
LONDON, July 3, 2020 (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the communications company whose mission is to bring connectivity to governments, businesses, and people everywhere, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with a consortium led by HMG (through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) and Bharti Global Limited (“Bharti”) for the acquisition of the OneWeb business in connection with its court-supervised sale process. The bid is designed to capitalise the company sufficiently as a going concern to effectuate the full end-to-end deployment of the OneWeb system.
HARWELL, UK (Satellite Applications Catapult PR) — According to press reports, the UK government is a partner in a bid for OneWeb, the UK- headquartered satellite communications company which, following the well-publicised financial difficulties of a major investor, entered Chapter 11 in March. If these reports are true, and the bid is successful, then it is great news for the UK space sector and UK citizens.
LONDON, UK, May 27, 2020 (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to connect governments, businesses and people everywhere, submitted a modification request to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the number of satellites in its constellation up to 48,000 satellites. This larger OneWeb constellation will allow for greater flexibility to meet soaring global connectivity demands.
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are among companies doing due diligence on OneWeb, the satellite broadband company that declared bankruptcy in March.
Other companies interested include Eutelsat, Cerberus and two Chinese companies, according to Space Intel Report.
OneWeb has 74 satellites in orbit, which is only 11.4 percent of an initial planned constellation of 648 satellites designed to provide broadband services across the globe.
SpaceX is already deploying its rival Starlink constellation with satellites the company says are more capable than the ones launched by OneWeb. Bezos’ Amazon is planning its own satellite constellation.
It’s not clear whether potential buyers want to purchase the entire company or the OneWeb’s bandwidth allocation, which could be worth as much as $1 billion.
OneWeb filed bankruptcy in March, blaming the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for drying up financing for the multi-billion satellite constellation.
LONDON, UK, March 27, 2020 (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb (“OneWeb,” “the Company”), the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, announced today that the Company and certain of its controlled affiliates have voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Company intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.
The Financial Times reports that OneWeb is preparing to file for bankruptcy and lay off most of its employees after failing to obtain additional financing from investors to continue building out its satellite broadband constellation.
The story is behind a paywall, so I don’t have a lot of details at this point. OneWeb will apparently keep a small team in place to operate the 74 satellites the company has launched into orbit while it seeks addition funding needed to emerge from bankruptcy.
Attempts to obtain additional funding from the company’s main backer, SoftBank, fell through.
The news comes less than a week after a Russian Soyuz booster launched 34 OneWeb satellites. Two previous launches in February 2019 and February 2020 had orbited 6 and 34 spacecraft, respectively.
OneWeb, which was founded by Greg Wyler, has been planning to launch 680 satellites in order to provide broadband services to any location on Earth.
The company’s main competitor is SpaceX, which has launched 362 satellites as part of its Starlink constellation. SpaceX has received approvals to launch nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites. Elon Musk’s company has also submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission to launch an additional 30,000 spacecraft to bring the total to 42,000.
LONDON, March 21, 2020 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, announced today the successful launch of 34 more satellites, aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Lift-off occurred on March 21st at 17:06 UTC. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches with signal acquisition anticipated in the coming hours.
This is the second of its 34 satellite launches in six weeks, an achievement made possible by the pace and execution of OneWeb Satellites’ high-volume production factory in Florida. This launch brings the total number of satellites in the constellation to 74, further solidifying OneWeb’s position as a leading global communications company.
OneWeb, the satellite operator backed by SoftBank Group Corp., is mulling a possible bankruptcy filing to address a cash crunch as it grapples with high costs and stiff competition, according to people with knowledge of the preparations.
The company is considering seeking court protection even as it continues to review possible out-of-court alternatives, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private company plans.
OneWeb would be among the first SoftBank-backed companies to file for bankruptcy. A spokeswoman for SoftBank, which is OneWeb’s largest investor, declined to comment.
PARIS (Arianespace PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has finalized its preorder for four more launches on Ariane 6, along with an initial payment.
Using Ariane 62, the light version of the new European launcher, these missions will be carried out on behalf of the European Commission to continue the deployment and operational ramp-up of the high-performance Galileo satellite navigation system.
OneWeb’s third launch and second of 2020 is scheduled for March 21st from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Arianespace will launch 34 OneWeb satellites, bringing the OneWeb constellation to 74 satellites.
OneWeb’s launch theme will commemorate the late Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who became the first person to walk in space 55 years ago this month.
LONDON, March 17, 2020 (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, confirmed its next launch will take place on Saturday, March 21st at 17:06 (GMT) / 1:06 PM (EDT) / 22:06 (local time) from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
LONDON, 9 March 2020 (OneWeb PR) – Intellian, the global leader in mobile satellite communication antenna systems, has signed a contract with OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, to manufacture User Terminals for use on the OneWeb Network.
Hughes will market OneWeb servicesaround the world for applications such as enterprise and government networking, cellular backhaul and community Wi-Fi hotspots
Washington, DC, March 9, 2020 (OneWeb PR) – Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, and OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, today announced that Hughes has become a worldwide distribution partner for OneWeb.
LONDON, 7 February 2020 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, today announced the successful launch of 34 satellites, aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Lift-off occurred on February 06th at 21:42 pm UTC. The OneWeb satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of several hours.