In a significant leap forward for the telecommunications landscape in India, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has granted Internet Service Provider (ISP) licenses to Jio Satellite Communications and OneWeb. This developmental follows a year after both companies obtained permits to offer satellite communication services, marking a crucial milestone in their efforts to revolutionize internet connectivity.
ISP Licenses and Connectivity Solutions
The newly acquired ISP licenses empower Jio Satellite Communications and OneWeb to provide internet services by seamlessly integrating satellite capabilities with terrestrial networks. Additionally, they can utilize Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) technology to establish direct connections with end consumers. This move reflects a commitment to bridging the digital divide and expanding internet access to previously underserved regions.
Spectrum Access and Pending Challenges
While the ISP licenses represent a significant step forward, the crucial aspect of spectrum access for delivering services to consumer terminals remains pending. The spectrum is essential for ensuring the efficient and reliable provisions of satellite-based internet services. Addressing this aspect will be pivotal for Jio Satellite Communications and OneWeb to fully realize their vision of comprehensive connectivity.
OneWeb’s Strategic Positioning
Backed by the Bharti Group, OneWeb has strategically positioned its own constellation of satellites in both geostationary (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO). This unique positioning allows for optimized coverage and improved latency, promising a robust and reliable satellite communication service. Bharti Airtel Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, announced at the India Mobile Congress that OneWeb’s services are set to connect every corner of the country, with implementation expected to commence next month.
Jio’s Partnership and Demonstrations
In contrast, Jio Satellite Communications has entered into a partnership with Luxembourg SES Satellites, leveraging a combination of GEO and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites. This collaboration enhances the company’s ability to provide comprehensive coverage and high-speed broadband services. At the India Mobile Congress, Reliance Jio demonstrated its satellite-based giga-fiber services, signaling its commitment to delivering high-speed broadband services to regions that have historically been underserved.
Future Prospects and Industry Impact
The developments by Jio Satellite Communications and OneWeb highlight the growing importance of satellite-based internet services in expanding connectivity across vast and remote areas. As these companies navigate the pending challenges and secure spectrum access, the industry anticipates a transformative impact on internet accessibility in India. The emphasis on affordability and competitiveness in pricing indicates a commitment to making high-speed broadband services accessible to a broader population.