ISRO’s Commercial Arm Will Launch 1st Ever On-Demand Satellite For Tata Sky!

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is a newly created commercial arm of the national pride Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO. NSIL looks after the commercialization of research work and capabilities of the ISRO. Now, it is looking to emerge as an Indian communications satellite operator by taking over ISRO satellites to provide DTH and broadband services to customers on demand.

It has decided to put together its first demand-based communication satellite for the satellite-based DTH television services provider Tata Sky.

The launch will take place in the early months of next year

The GSAT-24 will be launched by the Ariane-5 from Europe’s Arianespace early next year. It is a 4,000 kg class Ku-band satellite with all transponders dedicated for DTH services, “The entire satellite capacity on-board GSAT-24 will be leased to its committed customer M/s Tata Sky for meeting their DTH application needs,” an NSIL statement said.

It should be noted that the satellite will be owned and operated by NSIL, which will also be the intermediary agency between ISRO, Arianespace, and Tata Sky.

The move to get NSIL to own and operate ISRO’s communication satellites is an effort to maximize profits from satellite launches and to allow ISRO to focus on “advanced research and development”, NSIL officials have said.

The PSU has bigger responsibilities, says its officials

Earlier this year, on March 12, NSIL Chairman and MD G Narayanan had said, “Shortly, NSIL will finalize requirements for new satellites in consultation with various users and start procuring, owning, launching and providing services, primarily in the communication sector. We are also in an advanced stage of discussion with DoS to take ownership of two new communication satellites.”

“NSIL now has a much bigger responsibility of owning the satellites – which is identifying a satellite, getting it launched, and owning it to provide services. This is a major service that NSIL is looking to offer. This will make us a kind of a satellite operator,” its Director (technical and strategy) D Radhakrishnan had said earlier.

“Earlier we were supply-driven and now we are demand-driven and the basic thing is that there should be an identified customer who is going to fully utilize the satellite capacity and there should be good profitability. We want to ensure maximum utilization of a satellite,” the NSIL official said.

NSIL has bigger ambitions

Narayanan has affirmed that the new firm is also in talks with the space department to take over all existing ISRO communication satellites. While the demand for satellites for DTH services comes from providers like TataSky, Sun Direct, and so on, the demand for satellites for broadband services comes from Indian telecom operators, NSIL.

After successful fulfillment of its first deal for the launch of a commercial satellite on February 28, 2021 – the Brazilian Amazonia-1 satellite onboard ISRO’s PSLV rocket – NSIL will have four more commercial launches over the next two years, NSIL had said earlier.

It should be noted that the company has been provided a budget of Rs 700 crore for the next five years so that it emerges as a premier space services provider.

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