Bharti Group-backed satellite internet service conglomerate Eutelsat-OneWeb on Tuesday secured key approval from Indian space regulator for the launch of its commercial satellite broadband service in India.
OneWeb India, which operates in low earth orbit, is the first organisation to receive the authorisation from Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), the designated single-window agency for space activity approvals.
What does the approval signify for OneWeb’s space connectivity service?
IN-SPACe, the central space regulatory agency, is tasked with regulating and granting authorisation for space activities in the country. Its approval paves the way for Eutelsat OneWeb to introduce commercial connectivity services once the government grants satellite spectrum allocation.
In a statement, Bharti Group chairperson and vice-president of the Board of Directors of Eutelsat Group, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said: “This will be a critical step forward to meet India’s ambition of providing internet connectivity for all and will enable the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India. Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorization to launch commercial services.”
Satcom service in India
Elon Musk’s Starlink is also eyeing to obtain a global mobile personal communication by satellite services (GMPCS) licence.
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is also vying for a share, with its application awaiting government consideration.
In addition to GMPCS licence, satcom companies must seek green light from the IN-SPACe. The subsequent step involves spectrum allotment by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Reliance Jio and Bharti’s OneWeb have already secured the GMPCS license in India.
OneWeb India has also obtained in principle approval to establish and operate two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which would secure the provision of vital high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity to customers across India, once services are rolled out.