SoftBank backs OneWeb satellite venture with $1B - Mobile World Live

SoftBank backs OneWeb satellite venture with $1B

20 DEC 2016

Japan-headquartered SoftBank agreed to invest $1 billion in US satellite firm OneWeb as part of a $1.2 billion round of fundraising by the venture, which aims to deliver affordable internet access to remote regions around the world.

The remaining $200 million will be funded by OneWeb’s current investors, which include Qualcomm, Airbus Group and Virgin Group, Reuters reported.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son pledged to invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US, where he controls operator Sprint, following a meeting with President elect Donald Trump in early December.

Son said the OneWeb investment is the first step in that commitment. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2017.

According to Reuters, SoftBank will make a direct investment in OneWeb, even though Son has said that large investments would be made through a newly established $100 billion tech fund it is launching with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential partners.

OneWeb, which was set up 2012, plans to build a factory in Florida to produce low-cost satellites.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

Read more