OneWeb Receives Approval To Launch Satellite Broadband Services In India


OneWeb India, the local subsidiary of low-earth orbit operator Eutelsat OneWeb, has obtained the necessary approval from India’s newly established space regulatory body to launch commercial satellite broadband services in the country. This approval makes OneWeb the first organization to receive authorization to offer satellite broadband services in India, beating out competitors such as SpaceX’s Starlink and Reliance’s JioSpaceFiber. However, the launch is still reliant on spectrum allocation by the Indian government, which has yet to take place.

Key Takeaway

OneWeb India has obtained approval to launch satellite broadband services in India, becoming the first organization to receive authorization in the country. However, final spectrum authorization from the Indian government is still pending.

OneWeb’s Expansion in India

Last month, both OneWeb and JioSpaceFiber received licenses from the Indian telecom ministry, Department of Telecommunications, to provide broadband services using satellite connectivity. OneWeb has also received in-principle approval to establish two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, aiming to provide high-speed and low-latency internet connectivity to customers throughout India.

Bharti Airtel, the second largest wireless network provider in India and a stakeholder in OneWeb, sees satellite-beamed internet as a solution to reducing data costs in the country. The company’s vice chairman, Akhil Gupta, believes that satellites will complement terrestrial connections, and smartphones will eventually have built-in satellite connections to help reduce costs per gigabyte.

Competition in the Indian Market

In addition to OneWeb, other players such as SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper are eyeing the Indian market for their satellite broadband services. While Starlink has registered its local business in India and hired a top executive, it has not yet received a license to operate in the country. Amazon, on the other hand, is exploring opportunities to expand its Project Kuiper in India.

The Indian government’s space sector initiatives, including the establishment of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) and the Indian Space Policy, have sparked increasing competitiveness in the space industry in India. These efforts aim to involve the private sector in space-related activities and boost India’s global presence in space technology.

Investors are already seeing potential opportunities in India’s domestic space industry, particularly in satellite applications and the growing digital maps market. With OneWeb’s approval, the stage is set for the expansion of satellite broadband services in India, offering new possibilities for connectivity in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *