Latest News

Saudi Arabia Pays OneWeb $200M to Provide Connectivity to Neom City

By | October 28, 2021

The Al Lawz mountain near where the Saudi city Neom is to be built. Photo: NEOM

OneWeb has signed a $200 million agreement for a joint venture with futuristic Saudi Arabia city Neom to bring satellite connectivity to the city, Saudi Arabia and neighboring Middle East and East African countries.

OneWeb on Tuesday announced the agreement with Neom subsidiary, Neom Tech & Digital Hold Co. The new joint venture entity will have exclusive rights to distribute OneWeb services in its target regions for seven years from the initiation of the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network. It also includes a long-term strategic partnership regarding research and development of future connectivity systems. OneWeb expects to complete ground infrastructure for the project in 2022. 

Neom has made a $170 million pre-commitment for OneWeb capacity and investment of $30 million into the joint venture, according to a OneWeb representative.

Neom is a futuristic, mega-city that Saudi Arabia is building in its northwestern Tabuk Province. The name Neom means “new future,” and Saudi Arabia is pitching the city as a place for innovation, entrepreneurs, and tourism. It is a project of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. 

The United Kingdom government, which is an investor in OneWeb, said this agreement strengthens the tie between the U.K. and Saudi Arabia. 

U.K. Investment Minister Gerry Grimstone commented: “This joint venture brings together two emerging space and digital technology champions to deliver connectivity for the Middle East. It demonstrates that the U.K. government’s investment in OneWeb continues to be a catalyst for international collaboration, while securing jobs at home and driving investment into the U.K. space sector.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated after publication with more specific details of the joint venture investment.