Bharti backed communications company OneWeb has been planning to launch broadband-from-services in India and has finally received the very important GMPCS (global mobile personal communications by satellite services) permit from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The permit will allow the company to launch its services in India in the latter half of this year. The original plan to launch the services was around May 2022, however, the date is most likely going to be pushed because of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
OneWeb’s Plan to Provide Broadband-From-Space Services
According to a report from ET Telecom, a spokesperson from OneWeb said in a statement that the company has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the GMPCS licence from DoT and is looking forward to contributing to the Digital India vision through its services. It is to be noted that Mukesh Ambani owned Jio Platforms in partnership with Luxembourg’s SES announced to deliver fast broadband from space services across India and neighbouring markets using geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations. This would that the competition in India’s budding internet-from-space services segment is bound to increase.
As mentioned, OneWeb’s plan to launch the satellites in May 2022 is likely to get delayed as the operator is looking for fresh locations to launch its remaining low earth orbit (LEO) satellites, including from ISRO’s facilities in India. For those unaware, OneWeb has recently suspended satellite launches from a Russian-operated cosmodrome in Kazakhstan amid the continuing war in Ukraine.
OneWeb is currently planning to set up a global constellation of 648-odd LEO satellites to deliver high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband services in rural and remote regions globally, including in India. As of now, 428 satellites from the operator are already in the orbit. Industry insiders have informed that the GMPCS permit will ease the process of OneWeb’s upcoming satellite broadband services launch in India.
The communications company has already received a separate LoI for national long distance (NLD) services from the DoT. Moreover, a joint venture between US-based Hughes and Bharti Airtel in a 67:33 partnership will distribute OneWeb’s satellite broadband services in India and look to connect towns, villages and local and regional municipalities in the country’s hardest-to-reach areas.