Tata Will Launch Satellite Internet In India; Will Fight Elon Musk, Airtel In Satellite Internet Space


The partnership has come about through Tata Group-entity Nelco which partnered with Telesat in September 2020.

Tata Group is entering the satellite internet race in India in partnership with Telesat.

With the partnership, it will give tough competition to other major players in the space- Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper and Sunil Bharti Mittal’s One Web.

Partnership

Telesat is a Canadian satellite communications services provider.

The partnership has come about through Tata Group-entity Nelco which partnered with Telesat in September 2020.

Through this, it aims to offer enterprise broadband services based on Telesat’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

Waiting For Centre To Roll Out Policy

Tata-Telesat are presently finalising the commercial offerings for enterprise market segments.

The partners are assessing the market requirements which are different for various segments.

They are also awaiting the Centre’s announcement of its policy regarding private competitors in the satellite broadband sector.

Dubbed the Spacecom policy, it will help private players looking to enter the market fine-tune and finalise their India offerings.

Local Partnerships

Telesat has said that it is also exploring options regarding potential local agreements with Indian companies for its LEO network’s terrestrial connectivity.

It is also scouting site locations for gateway landing stations and Points of Presence through these partnerships.

LEO-satellite concepts, which orbit 500-2,000 km from Earth, offer speedier communications  owing to lower latency and give more bandwidth per user than the currently operational Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellites that provide broadband services.

Should Satellite Spectrum Also Be Auctioned?

Regarding the dispute over whether satellite spectrum should be auctioned like terrestrial spectrum, Telesat opines that auction is inappropriate for microwave bandwidth that will be utilised for satellite service providing.

This could lead to wasteful spectrum usage, among other problems.

They added, “There is no precedent for spectrum assignment by auction for satellite services in these frequency bands.”

Bharti-OneWeb

Meanwhile, Bharti Group last month committed to invest  $500 million in satellite internet company, OneWeb.

The firm ultimately aims to provide broadband connectivity throughout the world by next year.

A specialty of OneWeb is that it has a “significantly lower entry cost of any LEO”, making it a “three-times lower cost Constellation”, as per Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb.

SpaceX-Starlink

Elon Musk’s SpaceX-developed Starlink seeks to provide high speed and low latency internet via satellites deployed on Falcon rockets. 

Customers can reserve their place for $ 99 or Rs 7300 which includes a satellite dish, a tripod and a Wi-Fi router.

The project is expected to reach coverage of the entire planet by year-end, after which it will focus on densifying coverage. 

Amazon’s Project Kuiper

Project Kuiper backed by Amazon is an initiative which looks to provide satellite internet with low latency and high speeds to technologically challenged communities worldwide. 

The $10 billion project led by Rajeev Badyal (President) is expecting a timeline of 10 years during which it plans to deploy 3,236 satellites. 

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