Expect satellite broadband service rollout in India by mid of next year, telecom secy says | The Financial Express

Expect satellite broadband service rollout in India by mid of next year, telecom secy says

Lately, telecom companies have also opposed administrative allocation of spectrum to satellite companies, which they feel is against the level-playing field.

Expect satellite broadband service rollout in India by mid of next year, telecom secy says
"We are waiting for TRAI to send their recommendations on the satellite spectrum band to be put on auction," he said on the sidelines of India Mobile Congress. “We expect the process to complete in about 9-10 months,” he said.

By Jatin Grover

India will likely witness satellite-based broadband services by the middle of next year, telecom secretary K Rajaraman said on Sunday.

The department of telecommunications has already sent its reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to auction the spectrum in the 27.5-28.5 MHz band, which is essential to rollout satellite broadband services.

“We are waiting for TRAI to send their recommendations on the satellite spectrum band to be put on auction,” he said on the sidelines of India Mobile Congress. “We expect the process to complete in about 9-10 months,” he said.

Also Read: No auctioning satellite spectrum

The spectrum band once auctioned would pave way for the satellite companies to provide broadband services.

The satellite broadband services once started in India will resolve internet connectivity issues in the far flung areas, providing high speed internet.

Lately, telecom companies have also opposed administrative allocation of spectrum to satellite companies, which they feel is against the level-playing field.

Further, the government has asked the telecom regulator to recommend using the 27.5-28.5 spectrum band both for terrestrial and non-terrestrial services.

Companies such as Bharti Group-backed One Web and Jio Satellite Communications, a unit of Reliance Jio have already got the letter of intent from the government to rollout satellite communications services.

An inability to launch satellites due to Russia Ukraine war has delayed the broadband service rollout timeline for One Web. The company is expected to launch the services by around August next year.

Globally, satellite internet space is dominated with the likes of One Web, Elon Musk-owned Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, among others.

For the existence of both terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks in the 27.5-28.5 MHz band , the devices also will have to be convergent, Rajaraman said, adding that the device ecosystem will develop in about next couple of years when manufacturers will start coming in.

“India is a very diverse country. So therefore if you look at the remotest regions, I think it would require this kind of devices which are affordable at the same time and are resilient to this kind of the geography,” he said.

The satellite broadband companies are also awaiting the launch of Spacecom policy, which will provide them more clarity and narrate certain norms for the sector.

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