The GMPCS authorisation under the Unified licence has so far been awarded to OneWeb India Communications and Jio Satellite Communications. Two additional entities have applied for the right to set up gateways, increasing the level of competition in the satellite communication market. Hiranandani Group, a significant player in the real estate industry, and Veeno Communications, a startup from Bengaluru, have sought GMPCS license, according to an RTI reviewed by the HinduBusinessLine.
Rush for the Satellite Market
While the satellite industry has been active for a while, with organisations like OneWeb promising to roll out satellite services by 2023, businesses are still waiting on the new spacecom policy, which has been in the works for a while. In order to decide how the government would distribute satellite spectrum among businesses, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is also working on the consultation process.
Six entities have now applied for GMPCS authorisation. This includes the Telesat-Nelco alliance, Jio Satellite Communications Limited, Starlink, and OneWeb, which is backed by Sunil Mittal. In particular, in rural and far-flung locations where conventional telecom networks cannot reach, OneWeb, Jio, Starlink, and Telesat-Nelco have expressed interest in providing high throughput and low latency internet broadband services utilising their constellation of low earth orbit satellites. Mittal has also asserted that with the advent of 5G, telcos can use OneWeb to offer satellite backhaul services for 5G networks.
Earlier, the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX announced on Twitter that the first JSX jet, a commercial aviation company, had carried the Starlink satellite internet service to orbit. The company started giving passengers on the first @flyjsx jet access to high-speed, low-latency internet during flights.
During a test flight in September, Starlink Aviation was able to offer a 100 Mbps Internet connection. JSX, one of the first airlines to employ the in-flight Internet service on a route between Burbank and San Jose, California, announced in April that it will conduct the test.