OneWeb India, a subsidiary of Eutelsat OneWeb, has secured approval to launch commercial satellite broadband services in India, setting the stage for a new era in the country's internet connectivity. This nod from the newly established Indian space regulatory body places OneWeb ahead of competitors like SpaceX's Starlink and Reliance's JioSpaceFiber in tapping into the world's second-largest internet user market. However, this launch hinges on the Indian government allocating the necessary spectrum.
What Happened? According to a TechCrunch report, the green light for OneWeb comes after receiving licenses to provide broadband via satellite from the Indian telecom ministry.
The company is preparing to set up two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, aiming to deliver high-speed, low-latency internet across India.
Bharti Airtel, India's second-largest wireless network provider, which owns over a fifth of OneWeb, already has a fully operational low-earth orbit (LEO) constellation. It is projected to achieve global coverage, including over oceans and mountains, by January 24. Bharti Airtel also looks to leverage this technology to reduce data costs in India
OneWeb’s full low-earth orbit constellation is up and running, with global coverage expected by January 24.
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What to know: As part of a larger $3.4 billion (₹28,308 crore) deal with Eutelsat Communications, OneWeb is ready to deploy in India once it receives final spectrum authorization. Meanwhile, competitors like Reliance, SpaceX, and Amazon are also eyeing India's vast internet market, with the government’s recent introduction of the Indian Space Policy in April 2023, encouraging private sector involvement in space activities.
This policy, along with developments like India’s NavIC satellite system, signals a dynamic shift in the country’s space industry, traditionally driven by the government's ISRO and now increasingly open to private innovation and global competition.
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