It is not long before you will start seeing satellite broadband services provided in your area. Two major companies, Bharti owned OneWeb, and Elon Musk’s Starlink, are eyeing to enter the Indian landscape with satellite broadband services next year.
But it might not receive the kind of attention and response fixed-line broadband services do currently. The reason is because of its price. In India, the 4G penetration level has reached 63% already, and 5G is on its way.
Satellite internet is expected to be much costlier than both the mobile calling and data plans along with the fixed-line broadband connections. Since Indians are used to paying the cheapest 4G data rates in the world, they won’t be too willing to pay for satellite broadband if its plans are costly.
Satellite Broadband Will Face Hardships to Grow in India
The analysts believe that it isn’t just the steep pricing but other additional factors that can pose a problem for satellite broadband in India.
First of all, there are regulatory risks since to provide satellite internet services; final regulations are still yet to come from the government. This might result in delays in the launch of the service.
BNP Paribas, senior telecom analyst Kunal Vora, said satellite broadband would remain as a ‘niche offering’ in the medium term. It won’t be a threat or an issue for the telecom operators in the country for the foreseeable future.
Since mobile internet is the cheapest in India globally, people will continue to purchase mobile plans they can get for cheap instead of the satellite broadband plans, which are expected to be much costlier.
Satellite broadband will help people who are travelling or setting up businesses in India's rural or dark connectivity areas where the 4G network is either absent or not good enough to get a stable internet connection.
Starlink is already offering Indians a chance to prebook a satellite internet connection kit by paying $99 in advance. The company has said that it will start providing internet coverage in India by 2022.