Advanced Television

New OneWeb: Hughes is a likely winner

July 28, 2020

Putting $50 million into the consortium buying bankrupt OneWeb could be extremely lucrative for EchoStar subsidiary Hughes Network Systems/Hughes Connects (HNS).

Hughes was an original investor in OneWeb and is now likely to gain $300 million in contracts for at least some of OneWeb’s important ground segment installations. HNS, via EchoStar, signed a contract with OneWeb back in November 2017

The deal comes with help from the core relationship that already exists between Hughes and Bharti. The two are in the process of combining their satellite-related businesses in India (under the Hughes Communications India and Bharti Airtel companies).

A Tweet from OneWeb on July 27th said: “We are thrilled [that Hughes] is joining the platform and happy they are continuing their support and look forward to continuing our work together.”

HSN – and EchoStar – should benefit from their relationship. Bharti holds a potential contract with OneWeb to cover not only India and some adjacent nations, but also Africa. HNS has annual revenues of some $1.39 billion. EchoStar bought the business in 2011 for some $2 billion. On May 7 HNS reported that it had 1.5 million broadband customers including 267,000 in Latin America. The split was between consumer (66 per cent) and business (34 per cent).

HSN now dominates EchoStar’s revenues with quarterly revenue of $458 million while EchoStar Satellite Services were $4.6 million during Q1 this year.

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