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Korean Company Hanwha Invests $300M into OneWeb

By Rachel Jewett | August 12, 2021
      OneWeb Graphic

      An artist’s rendition of the OneWeb constellation. Photo: OneWeb

      South Korean manufacturing and technology company Hanwha has joined OneWeb’s ownership consortium with a $300 million investment for an 8% share in the company. This investment brings OneWeb’s total equity investment since November 2020 to $2.7 billion with no debt. 

      Hanwha joins a global lineup of OneWeb investors led by Bharti Enterprises of India, the consortium includes the United Kingdom government, Eutelsat of France, SoftBank of Japan, and Hughes Network Systems headquartered in the United States. 

      Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO said this investment brings advanced defense and antenna technology development to the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband constellation.

      The investment is interesting as Hanwha subsidiary Hanwha Systems has its own plans for its own 2,000-satellite LEO constellation to serve mobility applications. Hanwha also owns Hanwha Phasor, satellite antenna company formerly Phasor Solutions, and the company also has an investment in antenna company Kymeta Corporation

      “With Hanwha alongside, we will be able to access the highest quality of technological thinking and development. They are a powerful partner in our global mission to connect the world,” commented Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb executive chairman. 

      The investment is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, and OneWeb will appoint a board director to represent Hanwha’s share in the company when it is completed.

      OneWeb is fully funded to launch its first generation fleet of 648 satellites. The company has launched 254 satellites into orbit, with another launch planned for August 20. The company is preparing to offer connectivity services from 50th parallel and above by the end of 2021 and just signed an MoU with northern Canada telco Northwestel.