Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL) Tuesday announced they will combine their VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite operations in the country. HCIL is a subsidiary of broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems. Hughes will have majority ownership in the combined entity while Airtel will have a significant shareholding, according to a statement. The statement did not spell out the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to requisite approvals. "The combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach. The combined entity will be well positioned to leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy," it said. VSAT is used to provide satellite based telecom and internet access to individuals and enterprise users.
HCIL is a broadband satellite service operator in India, and offers a range of broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses and governments. "The combined entity will continue to serve existing Hughes and Airtel customers," the statement added. Commenting on the development, Partho Banerjee, President and Managing Director, Hughes Communications India Ltd said these are exciting times for satellite broadband service providers as VSAT becomes mainstream, driven by growing demand from enterprise and government segments. "We are very excited about the synergies that this partnership will bring to the Indian ecosystem," Banerjee said. Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business said the partnership will bring synergies to the forefront and combine the capabilities of both the companies. "Customers can look forward to highly secure and reliable connectivity solutions across the length and breadth of India," he said.