OneWeb, a major satcom (satellite communications) company, will be one of the first in India to launch satellite broadband services, said Anil Prakash, Director General of the Satcom Industry Association. Much recently, OneWeb launched 36 satellites with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), for which the Indian space agency would bag around Rs 1,000 crore. By January 2023, OneWeb would launch another 36 satellites for around the same cost with the help of ISRO. The company has already completed more than 70% of its planned fleet of 648 satellites to build a global constellation.
Apart from OneWeb, Starlink was expected to be one of the early companies in the commercial satellite broadband space in India. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and OneWeb, said that the cost of services for retail customers of OneWeb would be the same as 4G. This will help in expanding digital connectivity in all parts of India, including the rural areas.
Rural areas don't see a lot of investments from private telecom operators because of insignificant returns. But the satcom companies don't need to invest in laying fibre which is a very costly and time-taking process. Wherever satellite gateways can be installed, the internet network of satcom companies can reach.