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The authorisation allows Bharti Airtel, a promoter of Eutelsat OneWeb, to launch satellite-based broadband services once it is allotted the required spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN–SPACe) has authorised OneWeb India, a subsidiary of Eutelsat Group, for launching commercial satellite broadband services in India. Eutelsat OneWeb is a space-based satellite communication network backed by India’s Bharti Group,
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN–SPACe) is a single-window autonomous agency under the Department of Space of the Government of India.
OneWeb India is the first company in India to get the approvals for satellite broadband services.
The authorisation, however, is not a licence to launch services as it also needs allotment of satellite spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
“We are pleased to note the Indian space regulator’s green light to launch Eutelsat OneWeb’s commercial satellite broadband services in India. Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorisation to launch commercial services,” Bharti Group chairman and vice-president of the board of directors of Eutelsat Group, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said.
The approval for Eutelsat OneWeb’s constellation is valid for a period of five years. IN-SPACe said in a statement.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has pioneered and developed India’s space programme over a period of more than five decades with a strong focus on application driven programmes and bringing space to the services of the common man. In the process, it has become one of the six largest space agencies in the world.
OneWeb India has also obtained in principle approval for operating two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which would facilitate high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity to customers across India.
OneWeb is a subsidiary of Eutelsat Group providing broadband satellite Internet services in low Earth orbit (LEO). The company is headquartered in London, and has offices in Virginia, US and a satellite manufacturing facility in Florida – Airbus OneWeb Satellites – a joint venture with Airbus Defence and Space.
Eutelsat OneWeb emerged from the ashes of Channel Islands-based WorldVu that went into bankruptcy. After emerging from bankruptcy proceedings, the company was reorganised in November 2020 with a new group ownership. As of 2021, Bharti Global, France-based satellite service provider Eutelsat and the Government of the United Kingdom were the company’s largest shareholders, while Japan’s SoftBank retained an equity holding of 12 per cent.
OneWeb has 618 satellites currently in operation, against the 588 needed to launch global operations. These include 72 satellites launched by Isro. It will be ready to roll out global coverage by the year-end as it brings new areas online by partnering with leading providers.
India has just about 2 per cent share of the $400 billion global commercial space communication market, which is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030, The Indian government is aiming to have a $40 billion slice of the pie by 2040.
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