State-run telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Inmarsat on Wednesday officially opened a new Indian GSPS Gateway, which will enable Indian government and private sector customers to access highly reliable satellite phone (satphone) services via latter’s 4th generation constellation.
The gateway will enable the Indian Government to provide secure communications to defence services, commercial enterprises, the maritime industry and India’s remotest communities.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha told reporters that the service would cover areas where no networks are present and are provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites.
Sinha said that agencies handling disasters, state police, railways, Border Security Force and other government agencies would be given the phones in the first phase. He added that in the second phase people while travelling in flight and on ships will be able to use the service.
Under licence from India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the new GSPS gateway, located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, will enable BSNL and Inmarsat to meet the most demanding requirements of satphone users throughout the country.
The telecom operator said that the launch of the new gateway also marks a further step towards the Digital India initiative.
Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of BSNL said that the service brings reliable, secure voice communications, powered by Inmarsat’s 4th generation satellite network, within reach of groups and communities in areas with little or no connectivity.
"This is an important step forward in achieving the goals of ‘Digital India’, and ensuring that connectivity is available to all,” he said.
Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat, said: “Inmarsat has been working in close partnership with the Government of India for over 30 years. The combination of Inmarsat’s world-leading satellite communications capabilities and BSNL’s strong telecommunications infrastructure will see the market for satphone services grow significantly."
Gautam Sharma, Inmarsat India Managing Director, said: “With BSNL as the prime driver of Inmarsat’s GSPS business in India, access to satellite phone communications will be both simplified and seamless for users throughout the country.”