British government’s joint bid with India’s Bharti Enterprises won an auction for satellite broadband operator OneWeb; to help in race to beam high-speed internet connections from space.
The British government is all set to enter the satellite race and compete with Elon Musk's Starlink after it reportedly won a joint bid, with Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises, for embattled satellite broadband operator OneWeb.
Bharti Enterprises is the holding company of Bharti Airtel.
The British government will hold a 20 percent stake in OneWeb if the bid is approved next week by a US judge, according to a report by Financial Times.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Loss-making company OneWeb, which runs a low earth orbit satellite broadband network, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of March this year after its biggest investor, SoftBank Group Corp, pulled funding.
The company was looking to launch another 550 satellites by the end of the year, in addition to its 74 satellites already in orbit. After Starlink, which has over 500 satellites in operation and plans to launch at least another 50 this month, OneWeb has the second-largest low-earth-orbit satellite broadband network.As part of OneWeb's auction which was held on July 2, the UK government has put in no money. It has, however, pledged 500 million pounds ($623 million) in equity and the two parties are in talks with other investors about entering the consortium.