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(LEAD) Hanwha Systems invests US$300 mln in satellite communications firm

All News 15:37 August 12, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 4-5, 10-11; CHANGES image)

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- Hanwha Systems Co., the defense and ICT unit of Hanwha Group, said Thursday it will invest US$300 million in London-based satellite communications company OneWeb to join the growing space development race in the private sector.

Hanwha will acquire an 8.8 percent stake in the company through the investment, which is expected to be completed in the first half of next year, according to a statement from OneWeb.

This digitally rendered image, provided by Hanwha Systems Co. on Aug. 12, 2021, shows a rocket to be launched by OneWeb. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The satellite communications company, founded in 2012, aims to establish global internet coverage using a fleet of 648 low-earth orbit satellites by next year.

OneWeb is surrounding the planet with the satellites to ensure coverage even in remote areas, and the service is expected to power internet-of-things devices for future services, like self-driving cars.

The company has so far launched 254 satellites into orbit and plans to launch 34 more satellites later this month.

Hanwha said in a statement that it expects to create synergy with OneWeb on the back of its satellite and antennae technology.

The investment comes as the global space internet market is forecast to grow to as much as $582 billion in the next 20 years, Hanwha said, citing a Morgan Stanley report.

Hanwha joins other investors in OneWeb, including global telecom operator Bharti Global, satellite operator Eutelsat and SoftBank.

OneWeb competes with Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which also aims to provide broadband internet using satellites through its Starlink system.

Shares in Hanwha Systems jumped 7.74 percent to 18,100 won (US$15), outperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.38 percent loss.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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