OneWeb to Bring Down Prices of Access Terminal for Satellites

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Bharti Airtel is one company that has been known to delve its hands into almost every tech arena possible. The Sunil Mittal led company’s latest bet is on satellite arm OneWeb, under which it wants to reduce user access costs to different types of satellite. To make this possible, OneWeb is in talks with multiple companies, some domestic and other international, to make this transition to low cost possible. Some of the companies OneWeb is talking to include Sasken Technologies and NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the recently registered commercial arm of ISRO. The move, as purported by Sunil Bharti Mittal, will reduce user access terminal costs before Bharti Airtel launches satellite-based broadband services in India two years from now.

Reducing Costs for ESA and DPA Terminals

The two satellites terminals which India uses for different purposes right now include ESAs (electronically steered antenna systems) and DPAs (dual parabolic antenna systems). As per Mittal, the prime objective of OneWeb will be to reduce the cost of using these terminals by just half.

As per an ET Telecom report, an access terminal is a strategic piece of gear that finds its place on a satellite to make sure it can provide connectivity on the ground to the users. The highly-priced DSA, which takes the higher end of the two options, is used to provide satellite broadband connectivity to the oil rig stations or maritime ships.

OneWeb Key Player in Starlink

Speaking about the plans of OneWeb in the near future, Mittal said that the company plans on reducing the price from $1,000, which is the current cost for ESA access terminal, down to $500 or $600. As for the other DSA variant, the company seeks to reduce costs down to $2,000 to $2,500 from the current price of $5000 or more. He also highlighted that the costs could be expected to come down once the volume increases.

It is worth noting that OneWeb is co-owned by Bharti Airtel and the UK government and is one of the major players in deploying the Low Earth Orbit Starlink satellites, which is the pet project of Elon Musk. In India, OneWeb is slated to operate in a B2B model.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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