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DoT, ISRO planning to launch satellites for better communication
ISRO launched four communication satellites in 2018.
The Department of Telecom (DOT) is in talks with ISRO to build a network of satellite for communication pan India, reported PTI.
"DoT is working to set-up network of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite for telecom services. The entire expenses will be borne by the telecom ministry. Discussion in this regard has already started with the Department of Space," the source told PTI.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been responsible for 35 communications until now. Four of them- GSAT 6A, GSAT 29, GSAT 11 and GSAT 7A - took flight in 2018. These satellite offer connectivity to several institutions and business organizations. They are also used for vsat services, mobile communication in hilly areas, islands, and others.
All the GSAT satellite are geostationary (GEO) satellites placed at a distance of 36,000 kilometers, which is the reason behind the time lag faced between transmission and reception of signals. Calls made through the GEO satellite connection has a 20-millisecond lag.
"Latency in the data signal is not good for mission-critical applications. Even experience during a voice call is not good. People are required to wait to listen to sentence from person on another side. LEO satellites will be placed in orbit at distance of around 2,000 kilometers. This will reduce latency in signals," the official said.
He said that the satellite's capacity can be leveraged by telcos for different services, especially in remote areas where there's less to no connection.
"There is a plan to have 100% connectivity across the country. The proposed satellite will be owned by DoT and bandwidth rates are expected to come down. Operators can also use these for in-flight and maritime mobile services. The initial focus is to bring 100% coverage in the rural area," the official said.
Hughes India said that the satellite bandwidth cost provided by the Department of Space is hefty and could spoil the uptake of IFMC services. The facility is expected to be 30-50 times costlier at ₹700-1,000 for a two-hour journey.