In order to provide satellite internet services in India, Jio Satellite Communications Ltd and Eutelsat OneWeb have been granted the requisite licenses.
Jio and OneWeb Secures Licenses for Satellite Internet Services
Besides a pan-India ISP (Internet Service Provider) license, both of these companies hold the GMPCS (Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite) license.
As per a media report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) allocated ISP-A and a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) license to OneWeb on Wednesday.
Further, this report states that Jio secured the ISP license in October.
During this time, a significant challenge is faced by both companies which revolves around the satellite spectrum, which seems to be a subject of internal government debate currently.
It turns out that there are differing opinions within the government on whether the spectrum should be allocated administratively or through an auction process.
Earlier, Jio showcased JioSpaceFiber at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023, while Airtel’s booth featured solutions from Eutelsat OneWeb.
With the latest development, Jio Satellite Communications and Eutelsat OneWeb are poised to be the first companies to launch satellite internet services in India, with a primary focus on enterprises.
Interestingly, these companies’ current emphasis is not on providing services to consumers.
Other players like Amazon and Starlink are also in the process of obtaining the GMPCS license in India.
Out of these, the Elon Musk-owned Starlink is anticipated to secure the license soon as the company is already operational in various countries, delivering seamless internet services via satellites.
In India, the company faced setbacks when attempting to sell pre-bookings without the necessary licenses.
In the meantime, authorities instructed Starlink to refund customers and cease pre-booking sales until proper licenses were acquired.
How Does ISP & GMPCS License Work?
For the unaware, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) license and the GMPCS (Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite) license are distinct authorisations granted by regulatory bodies, each governing different aspects of communication services.
Basically, an ISP license pertains to the provision of internet services which allows a company or entity to offer internet connectivity, bandwidth, and related services to end-users or other businesses.
On the other hand, a GMPCS license, focuses on satellite-based mobile communication services on a global scale further allowing the licensee to offer mobile communication services via satellite technology.