SoftBank, the Japanese company, announced this Monday that it will be making a $1 billion worth investment in the American company OneWeb.
The SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, it was established in 1981. It is specialized in telecommunications and Internet services.
As such, it offers e-commerce, technology, and Internet services. It also offers broadband and fixed-line telecommunications operations. As well as finance, media, marketing, and semiconductor design, amongst others.
OneWeb is, or will be, a satellite constellation. It was formerly called WorldVu. Its name came from the company that proposed it, WorldVu Satellites Ltd.
The project is seeking to create a “constellation” of more than 600 satellites. These are expected to provide Internet broadband services. The services, which should have a global distribution, could be operational as early as 2019.
WorldVu Satellites Ltd, the Jersey-based company, has big business plans. With the said system, it will attempt to reach “hundreds of millions of potential users”. Low or no existing broadband access locations are a specific target.
SoftBank declared its intention of investing in the project. The statement was released this Monday, through an official blog post.
The Japanese corporation has agreed to invest a $1 billion sum. This will make it the as yet largest investment in the project.
OneWeb has raised a capital of $1.2 billion. This was gathered from existing investors. OneWeb will be both building and deploying the Internet carrying satellites. They will be deployed over the course of the next decade.
SoftBank stated that its investment would support satellite manufacturing. More exactly the process carried out in a new Florida-based facility. It is also expected to create new workplaces. About 3,000 new jobs could be created in the United States. This job project will be carried out over the next 4 years.
The OneWeb investment is quite expected to be just the first in more such projects. Masayoshi Son is the SoftBank CEO and Chairman.
Earlier this month, Son met with the United States President-elect. Following the meeting, the company would have made an investment pledge. Following it, the company is quite expected to create about 50,000 new workplaces.
It will also be investing around $50 billion in startups. All these projects would target the United States workforce and companies.
The aforementioned Son went to release a statement. According to him, the OneWeb support is just a first step. More such projects will follow, as the company will be seeking to fulfill its target.
Son pointed out America’s position in regards to technology. He accentuated the nation’s forefront position as an innovator and technological developer.
Son also expressed his company’s position. They are excited to be playing a part in the said developments. SoftBank is envisioning a connected ecosystem that will be available at a global level.
SoftBank started in a somewhat different domain. Initially, it was a software distribution company. However, that did not deter it from investing in the tech area. Especially so in recent years.
The corporation is involved with Sprint, the U.S. wireless operator. It is also part of the Alibaba Chinese e-commerce company investors. It has also partnered up with Saudi Arabia. The two have created a technology investment fund.
SoftBank’s OneWeb investment will have a great impact on the project. Greg Wyler, the OneWeb founder, went to explain.
The initial plans predicted two investment rounds. Each would have accounted for about $500 million. These would have comprised the B and C project rounds.
Following the SoftBank $1 billion investment, both round B and C have been fulfilled.
As such, they may be closer to the initial OneWeb goal. The company is planning on an initial satellite launch. The first 10 such satellites would be deployed sometime in early 2018.
The nearly 700 remaining ones would then follow them over the next few years.
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