DoT Might Ask TRAI To Introduce Norms For Satellite Internet Players

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DoT is likely to ask the telecom regulator TRAI to come up with a new discussion paper on licensing framework for satellite internet operators. The discussion paper is expected to take views from all industry players on the spectrum bands allocated to satellite players.

 

DoT Might Ask TRAI To Introduce Norms For Satellite Internet Players

"The upcoming paper from the TRAI is likely to seek industry views on whether a new category of licenses must be created for LEO players operating satellite gateways in India, or whether the scope of existing Satcom permits/processes needs to be widened and also simplified to accommodate them," sources were quoted by ET.

The report claims that the discussion paper might include bandwidth connectivity between satellites and users in the country. In addition, this move by the telecom ministry is expected to allow all companies to start services next year in the country. For the unaware, OneWeb, Starlink, and Amazon are also looking at the same sector.

Notably, OneWeb has already submitted its plans to TRAI, where it likely to operate through two satellite gateways in the country. It said that currently, it is working on the 28 GHz band. However, it might add Q and V bands as these are important for the satellite services.

The current Satcom policy rules said that companies need to establish a station in the country and require approval from the Department of Space to use the services.

"Creating a new licence category for LEO satellite gateway operations would add to redundant permits, so instead efforts should be to simplify processes and procedures of existing Satcom licenses to accommodate the LEO players," said a senior industry executive.

Interestingly, Reliance Jio is also looking at satellite internet space; however, the company is not in discussion with any player to launch the services in India.

 

More than 70 percent of Indians are living in rural and remote areas without connectivity, which is why satellite internet seems the best way to offer internet services in these areas; however, there are chances that upcoming satellite services might be expensive.

But, one should not forget that satellite internet has become popular in other countries. If we talk about the pricing, then there are high chances that these companies might launch affordable services in the country to attract a large number of users.

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