Tata Group’s company Nelco might partner with the Canadian company Telesat to offer fast satellite broadband services in India. This will Tata Group’s attempt in competing with other major international satellite internet service providers (ISPs) which include companies such as OneWeb and Starlink.
Nelco’s Managing Director (MD), PJ Nath told ET Telecom that Telesat and Nelco are currently working on finalising the details of the commercial arrangements. Nath said that Nelco and Telesat will have an MSA (master services agreement) for offering LEO (low-earth-orbit) satellite services in India. Nath clarified that Nelco doesn't have any plans of forming a separate joint venture with the Canadian firm Telesat.
Tata and Telesat Will Primarily Focus on B2B
Tata and Telesat don’t want to limit themselves to offering just B2C services. The companies want to foray into the B2B model by offering its bandwidth capacity to the telecom operators of India who can use it for cellular backhaul in inhospitable and remote regions where their mobile network infrastructure is weak.
Nath said that their main focus will be B2B which makes sense. Even the cheapest satellite broadband connections is expected to be twice as expensive as a fiber line internet connection that a consumer can purchase from JioFiber or Airtel Xstream Fiber.
Thus the role of satellite broadband connectivity would not be to offer direct services to the consumers, but to the businesses which need that higher level of connectivity for seamless operations and can also pay the cost for it.
But Nath expressed that both the companies will be working on how they can reduce the cost of the end-user access terminals so that the technology can become cheaper and accessible for almost everyone in India. Telesat is already working with multiple hardware vendors across the world to bring the cost of its products and equipment down for ensuring affordable plans for the end-consumers.