Tata Group’s satellite communication service provider Nelco has applied for a licence with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to offer satellite-based broadband services in the country, according to people aware of the matter. The company will provide the services in collaboration with Canada-based satellite operator Telesat.
To provide satellite-based communication services, including internet broadband, companies need to get a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence from the government. “Nelco with Telesat is the fresh applicant for the GMPCS licence, and the government has sought more details from the company regarding the plans to offer satellite-broadband services,” an official aware of the matter told FE. Application from Nelco comes days after Elon Musk’s SpaceX-owned Starlink applied for the licence to offer satellite communication services in India.
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A GMPCS licence will help the companies offer voice and data services through satellite. The licence is issued for a period of 20 years and this allows firms to offer satellite communication services in licensed service areas.
At present, the government has issued licences to Bharti Group-backed OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications, a unit of Reliance Jio to offer satellite-based internet services.
Nelco becomes the fourth player in the satellite communication segment that will offer broadband services in the country. In April, Nelco and Telesat had conducted a first in-orbit demonstration of high-speed broadband connectivity in the country using the latter’s low earth orbit satellite.
The companies had demonstrated fibre-like internet speeds with a latency of 35 milliseconds and even presented real-time performance over YouTube and conferencing over Microsoft Teams.