Qualcomm is teaming up with mega-company Virgin to launch satellites that will provide internet service in previously net neglected areas. Qualcomm’s executive chairman Paul Jacobs and Richard Branson are investing in WorldVu Satellites, which runs the company OneWeb. Both managers will sit on the board.
Paul Jacobs said in a statement, as reported by UT San Diego, “We have a shared vision to bring connectivity to underserved areas around the world. We are pleased to join Virgin as an initial investor, and we look forward to helping fund initial technical feasibility work for the satellite system.” OneWeb aims to launch 648 small satellites by 2017 to bring internet connection to places that are presently out of reach. OneWeb was founded by Greg Wyler who started O3b Networks for Google, according to Insider Monkey. Google is prepared to spend $3 billion to launch internet satellites, and O3b has provided the technology. It has raised $1.3 billion so far.
Paul Jacobs in 2014 was rated by Glassdoor among the Top 10 CEOs of U.S. Tech companies. His father, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, was the founder of the company, In 2013, Jacobs announced he was stepping down as CEO and now Steve Mollenkopf is head of the company. Jacobs serves as executive chairman of Qualcomm.