Pradman Kaul, president and chief executive of Hughes Network Systems, discussed his firm's partnership with Emirati fleet operator Yahsat Sept. 11, 2018 at the World Satellite Business Week conference. Credit: SpaceNews/Brian Berger

WASHINGTON — Hughes Network Systems, an original OneWeb investor, said July 27 it would put $50 million into the consortium that is purchasing OneWeb out of bankruptcy protection. 

“We are pleased to be part of this winning team, along with the British Government and Bharti,” Pradman Kaul, Hughes president, said in a news release. “Our continuing and strengthened involvement with OneWeb extends naturally from our position as a leading geostationary satellite operator and ground network innovator.”

Germantown, Maryland-based Hughes invested $50 million in OneWeb back in 2015, alongside Airbus Group, Bharti Enterprises, Coca-Cola, Intelsat, Qualcomm, Totalplay and the Virgin Group as part of OneWeb’s $500 million Series A round. 

OneWeb raised $3.4 billion and launched 74 out of 648 small broadband satellites before filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. The British government and Bharti placed the winning bid to acquire OneWeb in July, with each agreeing to invest $500 million to revive the megaconstellation startup. 

Hughes said it still plans to be a distribution partner for OneWeb capacity, having announced earlier this year it would offer OneWeb connectivity to customers with networks for government and business sites, cellular backhaul needs and community Wi-Fi hotspots. 

Hughes has won more than $300 million in OneWeb business for gateway antennas and other ground infrastructure that remains unfinished. Hughes had $5.4 million in unsecured claims at the time of OneWeb’s bankruptcy filing. 

Caleb Henry is a former SpaceNews staff writer covering satellites, telecom and launch. He previously worked for Via Satellite and NewSpace Global.He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science along with a minor in astronomy from...