Skip to main content

Strength in unity. This seems to be the case with Eutelsat and OneWeb, with the European and British satellite operator unite their forces in order to counter Elon Musk's Starlink.

In fact, Eutelsat is preparing to acquire OneWeb through the issue of 230 million new shares to replace those of the latter. Eutelsat's 36 geostationary earth orbit or GEO satellites will thus join OneWeb's 648 low-orbit satellites (of which 428 are currently in operation). The central objective is to provide satellite Internet, with Starlink having a clear lead in the space, followed closely by Amazon's equivalent service called Kuiper. The combination of the two companies and the low-orbit satellites they already own will offer faster connections with less latency and geostationary satellites that have more capacity and cover wider areas.

The new company is expected to have a turnover of €1.2 billion in the next financial year. Dominique D'Hinnin and Eva Berneke, Eutelsat's president and CEO respectively, will retain the same positions in the new structure, with OneWeb's Sunil Bharti Mittal taking on the role of vice chairman. As the former pointed out, "this combination will accelerate the commercialisation of OneWeb's fleet, enhancing Eutelsat's growth profile. In addition, this combination has great creative potential as it is based on a balanced mix of synergies in terms of turnover, costs and capital expenditure."

OneWeb was founded in 2012 in London. Currently, the largest stake in the company is held by Bharti Enterprises with 30%. It is followed by Eutelsat with 22.9% and the UK Government and Softbank with 17.6% each. Until a few years ago it was considered SpaceX's rival, but the financial problems from which it has not been able to extricate itself have not allowed it to confirm expectations.

In 2020, it was forced into bankruptcy, before being saved by a $500 million 'injection' from the UK government and Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises.Earlier in the year, it faced problems launching satellites after the Kremlin sought guarantees that they would not be used for military purposes. In the end, OneWeb reached an interim agreement with SpaceX and New Space India.

Source :