Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd, (HCIPL), a majority-owned arm of US-based satellite operator Hughes Network Systems, and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel have formed a joint venture to provide satellite broadband services in India.
Hughes will hold 67% in the new JV while Airtel will hold the balance 33% stake, a person with direct knowledge told ET. The new JV, he added, will also be the distributor of Bharti-backed OneWeb’s upcoming satellite broadband services in India from around May.
Operational as HCIPL, the entity combines the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) businesses of both companies to offer flexible and scalable enterprise networking solutions using satellite connectivity for primary transport, back-up and hybrid implementation.
The agreement, originally announced in May 2019, has received all statutory approvals, including those from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
“Combining the proven capabilities of both Hughes and Airtel, the partnership will bring synergies to the forefront – including multi-orbit solutions – for the benefit of customers across the length and breadth of India,” Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCIPL, said in a media statement Wednesday.
Ajay Chitkara, chief executive officer, Airtel Business, in turn, said, “with the combined capabilities of Airtel and Hughes, customers will get access to next generation satellite connectivity backed by proven enterprise grade security and service support”.