OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL) Thursday entered into a strategic six-year distribution partner agreement to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity services across India.
OneWeb is a low Earth orbit satellite communications company, while HCIPL is a joint venture between Hughes Network Systems and Bharti Airtel. The agreement between the two follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the companies in September 2021.
As the leading satellite broadband provider in India HCIPL is well positioned to deliver services to enterprise and government with OneWeb capacity, especially in areas outside the reach of fiber connectivity, the companies said in a statement.
OneWeb will connect towns, villages, and local and regional municipalities in those hardest-to-reach areas, playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide.
“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," said Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCIPL.
Service offerings under this agreement are subject to all appropriate regulatory approvals and licenses.
“OneWeb will invest in setting up enabling infrastructure such as Gateways and PoPs in India to light up the services," said Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb.
Hughes, through its parent company EchoStar, is a longstanding and supportive OneWeb shareholder. It is also an ecosystem partner to OneWeb, developing gateway electronics – including for those in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – and the core module that will power every user terminal for the system.
In each of its core markets, OneWeb works with carefully selected distribution partners providing new business and expansion opportunities whilst supporting its goal of bringing improved digital communication services to some of the hardest-to-reach parts of the world.
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.