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Bharti Enterprises invests in constellation satellite Internet provider OneWeb

OneWeb has raised $500 million from Bharti Enterprises and its current investors. With this investment Bharti will acquire a minority stake in the company as well as get a representation on its board of directors. OneWeb’s existing investors include AirBus, Hughes, CocaCola, Qualcomm and Virgin. OneWeb plans to provide high speed internet access via 648 satellites, which it plans to launch and make available to consumers by 2019. The company, formerly known as WorldVu, will provide small user terminals which will connect to these satellites and transmit internet to the surrounding areas through LTE, WiFi, 2G and 3G. According to the company, if a Bharti user walks near one of its terminals and there is no cell tower around, the phone will connect to its terminal and operate as normal, charging the user via operator billing. Other than this, the terminals can be used as access points for schools and health centres, as weather and navigation system for business and commercial airlines and to provide emergency services in areas affected by natural disasters like earthquakes. The company mentions its small cell terminals will be 3GPP compatible, enabling them for use with various telecom operators using their existing infrastructure. As for the spectrum, the company will connect devices either on unlicensed frequencies or using the frequencies of operators that it has partnered with. Google’s project Loon: In February Google had said it was looking to bring Project Loon, its balloon powered Internet service to India, and was working with the government…

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