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OneWeb poised to expand into South America with Brazil licence

sunil bharti mittal.jpg

Satellite company OneWeb is to expand services to Brazil after the regulator granted it a 15-year licence.

The company will provide services via two satellite gateways – one in Petrolina, 600km west of Recife, and the other in Maricá, close to Rio de Janeiro, on the coast.

Sunil Bharti Mittal (pictured), executive chairman of OneWeb, said: “OneWeb’s entry into the Brazilian market is a significant milestone for our path to providing global services.”

Mittal heads the biggest investor in OneWeb, his Bharti group. Other investors include the UK government, satellite company Eutelsat and Japanese technology group SoftBank.

The licence to OneWeb comes from the regulator, Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (Anatel).

OneWeb said the licence will enable the company to support the Brazilian government’s efforts to extend digital infrastructure across the country and said it is an important milestone for the company to deliver its connectivity solutions across South America.

OneWeb has taken a wholesale approach to the market from the start, signing up operators in the regions it has become active to deliver services to customers.

Christopher Casarrubias, head of government and regulatory affairs for OneWeb in Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “The government of Brazil has made closing the digital divide a priority, which is firmly reflected in OneWeb’s license approval.”

Casarrubias, a former adviser to the Mexican government on telecoms policy, added: “We now have significant momentum behind our plans to supply high-speed, low-latency internet to Brazil, as its satellite market becomes increasingly diverse and dynamic over the coming years.”

OneWeb will use the Petrolina and Maricá satellite gateways to extend the connectivity footprint from the country to all of South America and the Caribbean.

Mittal said: “With the historic license approval from Anatel, and our planned satellite gateways in Petrolina and Maricá, we are now in prime position to deliver on our central mission of improved access to connectivity for communities across the whole of South America.”

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