Bharti Enterprises-backed OneWeb India said on Tuesday it has received the necessary authorisation from Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to launch Eutelsat OneWeb’s commercial satellite broadband services in India.
OneWeb India is the first organisation to be granted this authorisation, said the company. Eutelsat OneWeb, the low earth orbit operator, is part of Eutelsat Group.
IN-SPACe is the government agency (Department of Space) responsible for regulating space activities and granting authorisation for conducting the space activities in the country. This authorisation means Eutelsat OneWeb can launch commercial connectivity services as soon as spectrum allocation has been granted by the government.
“This will be a critical step forward to meet India’s ambition of providing Internet connectivity for all, and will enable the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India. Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorisation to launch commercial services,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Group Chairman and Vice-President (Co-Chair) of the Board of Directors of Eutelsat Group.
In August, Mittal had told businessline that the satellite communications services through OneWeb are expected to start soon, and added that it was hopeful of getting approvals from the government by around Diwali.
“We are almost ready. In India, we will hopefully have the policy in place. Our satellites are up, ground stations are in advanced stages...I think it’s a matter of 60 days, we will be ready and I am hopeful something comes to us,” he had said.
OneWeb India already holds the necessary licences from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to provide broadband services using satellite connectivity.
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The business has also obtained in-principle approval to establish and operate two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which would secure the provision of vital high-speed, low-latency Internet connectivity to customers across India once the services are rolled out, said the company.
“Bridging the connectivity gap around the world requires collaboration across business, but also with governments and regulators. We are pleased to have received these approvals from the space regulator that bring the country a significant step closer to providing high speed connectivity to even the most remote locations. Having completed our low-earth orbit (LEO) constellation last year, we are perfectly placed to deliver this vital connectivity service to businesses across India,” said Cyril Dujardin, Co-General Manager of Connectivity at Eutelsat Group.
According to government sources, satellite communication services may kick off in the next few months from all three companies – Bharti, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio, and Elon Musk-owned Starlink.