The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on the 'Licensing Framework for Establishing and Operating Satellite Earth Station Gateway (SESG)'. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reached out to the regulatory body on September 10, 2021, for its recommendations on the licensing framework for the establishment of a satellite gateway. With respect to that, TRAI floated a consultation paper on the matter on November 15, 2021. Now after factoring in comments from the stakeholders and adding its own inputs, TRAI has recommended that the SESG license should be different from the Unified License (UL). Further, the SESG license issued by the government would be given on a national level.
TRAI has said that SESG license holder shall not provide any kind of telecommunication service direct to the consumers. To provide services to the consumers, another license would be required from the government. The SESG license issued would be valid for 20 years from the date of issue and would also have a provision for renewal for 10 years.
The licensee would have to adhere to the guidelines provided by the government to establish a SESG and only use equipment from trusted sources. Only companies that are registered under the Companies Act 2013 shall be applicable for the grant of a SESG license, said TRAI. For the grant of the license, a one-time entry fee of Rs 10,00,000 would be applicable. Post that, since the services would not be directly provided to the end consumers, a token license fee of Rs 1 per annum would be levied on the SESG license. For every SESG that a company would establish, a charge of Rs 5,000 would be applicable as a processing fee.
Telecom and broadcasting players who have the necessary licenses to provide satellite-based communication services in India would also have the right to establish their own satellite earth station gateways.