OneWeb, the Bharti Global-backed satellite comms company on Monday told the Department of Telecommunications, better known as the DoT that it would be opting for local sourcing and development of its key satellite communication equipment, which will consist of low-cost user-access terminals coupled with gateway ground station infrastructure that will be used to construct a domestic satellite devices-and-components ecosystem in India.
This report comes via ET Telecom, to whom a person aware of the talks mentioned that OneWeb had assured DoT secretary Anshu Prakash it would support local satcom gear makers and was talking to several homegrown players to allow for indigenous sourcing.
This detail was supposedly communicated amidst a meeting presented on ways to make a roadmap to allow for the making of satellite network equipment in India.
What Do We Know About the DoT Meeting
In case you were wondering, OneWeb is a low earth orbit satellite communications company that is getting ready to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink as well as Amazon-backed Project Kuiper, both of which are related to the high-speed broadband-from-space segment.
Senior OneWeb executives who were at the DoT meeting have called on the government to rapidly increase the pace of landing rights approvals that are pending, so as to enable the company to set up local ground stations as well as bring its satellite spectrum in the Ka/Ku or 28 Ghz/14 Ghz bands to the country so as to ensure the timely rollout of satellite broadband services by May 2022.
For those of you unaware, landing rights and market access are key to downstream OneWeb’s global bandwidth capacity for satellite broadband users in India.
The company has previously identified land that will be used to set up two local satellite ground stations in northern and southern India with the aim to start work once the company has the landing rights.
During the meeting, OneWeb also urged the DoT to bring a single-window clearance mechanism when it comes to the issuing of satellite service permits that include the likes of GMPCS/VSAT, with the company also pushing for sharper cuts in high regulatory costs for satcoms services, with the intention to make satellite broadband services affordable with better penetration.
The Director-General of the Satcom Industry Association of India or SIA-India, Anil Prakas added that all services related to satellites require permissions from multiple government authorities, be it for licences, orbital positions, spectrum allocations, and such decision-making at each level invariably add to a delay and increase the cost for satcom operators.