Bharti Enterprises on Monday said that Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) has agreed to invest $50 million in the winning consortium, led by the UK government and Bharti Enterprises, that will take over OneWeb.

Hughes is the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services.

Additionally, Hughes will continue as a trusted technology and distribution partner to OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite operator which had launched 74 satellites before filing for Chapter 11 protection in March.

Bharti Enterprises has won a bid to pick up 45 per cent stake in OneWeb with an investment of $500 million. OneWeb, a UK-based company, has proposed a mega-constellation of satellites in low-earth orbit to deliver affordable wireless Internet services to anywhere in the world.

“The investment by Hughes underlines OneWeb’s exciting commercial prospects, reflected in the ongoing discussions with some of the world’s leading strategic and financial investors,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said.

Consummation of the consortium is contingent upon execution and effectiveness of definitive agreements. Confirmation of OneWeb’s reorganisation is contingent on certain conditions established by the Bankruptcy Court, Bharti Enterprises said.

“Our continuing and strengthened involvement with OneWeb extends naturally from our position as a leading geostationary satellite operator and ground network innovator, along with a meaningful partnership with Bharti and long-standing relationship with the UK through our business operations in both countries,” Pradman Kaul, President, Hughes, said.

Through its Hughes Europe division, which is headquartered outside of London, and sister company EchoStar Mobile Ltd, Hughes has worked closely with the UK government. Furthermore, Hughes Communications India Ltd, (HCIL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes, and Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel), are in the process of combining their satellite broadband operations in India.

The merger, which was announced in 2019, is pending regulatory approvals and is expected to bring greater scale, operational efficiencies and market reach to deliver solutions for enterprise and government networks.