NXTDIGITAL, the medial and digital vertical of the Hinduja Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Thaicom for forming a strategic partnership to provide satellite broadband services in India. Thaicom is one of the leading satellite operators globally.
Together, the companies will deploy Broadband-over-satellite (BoS) systems in an India-focused capacity. The capacity could be enhanced in the future on a state-of-art software-defined high throughput satellite; augmenting the existing IPSTAR-1, which is the first broadband satellite in the world and operational in India for several years.
Thaicomm and NXTDIGITAL to Focus on Rural India
In a joint release, the companies said that NDL (NXTDIGITAL Limited) and Thaicom would look to provide BoS services immediately on IPSTAR-1, focusing mainly on the rural parts of the country, comprising 60% NDL customers, through the only HITS (Headend-In-The-Sky) platform in India.
These services would ensure that people living in these areas would be able to get better quality internet connectivity, enhanced healthcare facilities, better education, and more. The companies will also leverage the existing broadband delivery technologies and broadband penetration of NDL’s broadband subsidiary, OIL. Note that the details of the partnership are still being discussed and will be documented in definitive agreements between NDL and Thaicom.
Both companies have also agreed for setting up a Centre for Excellence to develop new satellites and related digital-based technologies through analytics and AI (Artificial Intelligence). The satcom market in India is a huge untapped opportunity for global players. Companies such as OneWeb and Starlink have already shown deep interest in doing business in India. OneWeb has already secured a license from the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) as well. Starlink is still struggling to expand its business to India due to regulatory challenges. The SpaceX owned satcom company had to refund all the money it took from the users in India as pre-booking costs for a Starlink kit.