Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is now planning to provide its satellite phones services to all citizens in two years.
"We have applied to International Maritime Organisation. It will take some time to complete the process. In 18-24 months, we will be in a position to open satellite phones service for citizens in a phased manner," PTI quoted BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava.
He said, "Satellite phones also cost Rs 40,000 and more. All the satellite phones are imported at present. Once we open it for citizens, the volumes will drive down the cost of calls as well as the handset. Even, a huge volume can attract satellite phone manufacturers to set-up their unit in India. We expect it to create a new ecosystem of satellite services in the country."
The company has recently started offering BSNL satellite phone service through International Mobile Satellite Organization (INMARSAT).
However, it will be only available to Government agencies i.e handling disasters, state police, railways, Border Security Force and other government agencies will be given the phones in the first phase.
At the time of launch, INMARSAT India Managing Director Gautam Sharma said "all the connections will be transferred to BSNL. The call rates will be determined by BSNL. It should be in the range of Rs 30-35 per minute."
Currently, INMARSAT is offering its services to Tata Communications Limited which will be phased out by the end of next month.