Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Will Launch Satellite Internet In India; Threat For Airtel, Jio?

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Will Launch Satellite Internet In India; Threat For Airtel, Jio?
Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Will Launch Satellite Internet In India; Threat For Airtel, Jio?

World’s two richest businessmen, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are set to take on Airtel’s Sunil Mittal and Reliance Jio’s ’s Mukesh Ambani in the high-speed broadband and internet space.

As per the latest updates, both of them have approached the Indian government with separate plans to offer satellite-based internet connectivity. 

Satellite-Based Internet In India

According to sources, Musk’s satellite internet venture, Starlink, and Amazon have held separate consultations with the telecom ministry and the Department of Space.

Basically, they want to start satellite-based internet services in India, “though they are yet to apply for a license through the formal route”. 

Sources from the telecom department said, “Consultants representing the companies have had discussions with us, and have indicated that they are keen to offer internet services in India using a constellation of satellites. We expect them to apply for the license very soon,”. 

OneWeb Launching Satellite-based Services In India

In India, the OneWeb where Mittal’s Bharti Global holds the largest stake and has partners such as the UK government has publicly announced plans of launching satellite-based services by next year (also launching across other global geographies). 

The telecom firm has also received a national long-distance (NLD) license from the telecom department. 

How Is This Helpful?

These firms plan to offer a large swathe of bandwidth with speeds as high as 1 GBPS and even more through low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites that would be deployed at a distance of around 1,000km from Earth. 

Further, this bandwidth would then be sold to a variety of users/customers including business enterprises, railways, shipping companies, defense establishments, airlines, and telecom companies, thus directly competing with the likes of Airtel and Jio. 

Interestingly, these services can be used to reach dark zones in rural areas. 

The difficult terrains such as deserts and mountainous regions and those infested with Naxals and other sensitive locations can also be reached. 

“All the mandates, including those around lawful interception and other security needs, will need to be adhered to as per the licensing conditions,” sources said. 

Prior to this, Musk has publicly said that his company is keen to come to India through his ambitious project, Starlink. 

So they are studying government regulations for beginning services.

He said “Just figuring out the regulatory approval process,” while talking about the India plans. 

Amazon’s Project Kuiper

On the other hand, a top online retailer in India, Amazon is also looking to step into the satellite-based internet service in the country. 

The eCommerce firm feels that a bigger footprint in India through high-speed broadband will help it reach a wider online audience, which can also be another enabler for its retail business. 

They plan to provide its services in India through its “Project Kuiper” program which is engaged in launching low-earth-orbit satellites to cover the entire globe. 

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