Amazon Eyes India's Satcom Market, Seeks Approval For Broadband-From-Space Services

Amazon is gearing up to make a splash in India’s burgeoning satellite communications (satcom) market. The e-commerce titan has reportedly approached the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) for the green light to roll out its broadband-from-space services in the country.

Why it matters? If approved, Amazon will join the ranks of prominent players like Elon Musk‘s Starlink, Bharti Airtel-backed Oneweb, and Reliance Industries Jio Satellite. This move aligns with India’s 2023 Space Policy, which encourages private investments in the sector and permits foreign entities to offer satellite services, provided they secure IN-SPACe’s nod.

While competitors Oneweb and Jio Satellite have already bagged their GMPCS licenses, Starlink awaits its turn. As per an ET report, Amazon, not to be left behind, is also anticipated to knock on the Department of Telecommunications’ door for a similar license.

Last Month, Amazon Web Services (AWS) India Private Limited announced a strategic partnership with ISRO and IN-SPACe. This collaboration, unveiled by Amazon India, aims to provide space startups, research institutions, and students with advanced cloud technologies, facilitating the development of innovative solutions within the space sector and supporting its growth.

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Market opportunity? Amazon doesn’t limit its satcom ambitions to just India. The company’s website hints at a global broadband service, boasting speeds from 100 Mbps to a whopping 1 Gbps. Insiders suggest that Amazon aims to synchronize its Indian launch with its global rollout.

Just last week, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which envisions a constellation of over 3,000 satellites, sent two prototypes into orbit. The project aims to commence services by 2024’s end.

With the Indian space economy projected to skyrocket to $13 billion by 2025, global satcom giants are keenly watching the subcontinent. And with India mulling over more liberal foreign direct investment policies for the space sector, the stars seem aligned for a satcom revolution.

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