With an aim to provide equal digital speed in rural and urban areas and bolster the overall internet speed in India, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been banking on four high-throughput satellites- GSAT-19, GSAT-29, GSAT-11 and GSAT-20, to achieve the goal.
While Gsat-19 was launched in June, 2017, GSAT-29 will be launched in November, and GSAT-11 and GSAT-20 will be launched in December and by next year, respectively, ISRO Chairman K Sivan was quoted as saying by TOI. Sivan asserted that together, these satellites will help propel the internet speed to a mind-boggling 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2019.
With the launch of the Gsat-19, the ISRO said it had begun a new age of communication satellites and also the beginning of high-throughput satellites which would not only revolutionise the way we use televisions and smartphones, but will also drive the future communication needs of smart cities. GSAT-19 had two antennas, each measuring over 2.5 meters. Till GSAT-19, communication satellites used a single beam to cover the country but it had used eight narrow beams, ISRO said, as per Indian Express report.
GSAT-11 will be one of the heaviest satellites ever to be built by ISRO. It will have a data rate of 14 gigabytes. GSAT-11 will also have 16 beams and will weigh over 5.7 tonnes. The GSAT-11 is a mega satellite whose panels are the biggest India has ever made at over 4 meter in height, in addition, this giant bird will have effectively 32 beams streaming data like never before. With the launch of GSAT-20, ISRO plans to cover the entire nation with a satellite that will offer a data rate of 70 gigabytes per second.
According to ISRO, GSAT-29 is configured around the space agency’s Enhanced I-3K Bus. The mission targets for Village Resource Centres (VRC) in rural areas to bridge the digital divide.
What are High-throughput satellites?
High-throughput satellites have been touted as a game changer in developed countries. These satellites provide internet connectivity many times faster, smoother and cheaper. Aforementioned satellites will reinforce India’s technological capability. Apart from increasing the internet speed, these satellites will also help the government and private businesses to take certain services like banks, ATMs, reservation systems and mobile and television networks to the remotest part of the country in a much more efficient and seamless manner.