July 7 2021: Recent weeks have seen all four current and aspiring global providers of satellite making plans to enter the India market.
The US leader in satellite-based consumer Internet services, Viasat, has filed an application with the Government of India to use their Ka-band Viasat-3 satellites (currently under construction) to serve Indian customers.
The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, is taking bookings, from Indian users for its Starlink broadband service, harnessing a large constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites which already number more than 1000. It is yet to apply for permission to offer its services in India.
The Bharti Enterprises-driven-OneWeb, another low-earth-orbit or LEO satellite player, has sent out 254 satellites till last month and is readying to offer its services in the northern hemisphere this year. It plans on offering global coverage by June 2022, by which time it expects to have 648 satellites up and working. That is the earliest it can reasonably expect to reach Indian customers. The company has applied to the Department of Telecommunications for licences, pertaining to landing rights and use of spectrum.
The latest player with an eye on the India satellite internet market, is Amazon which has committed $ 10 billion to build its own constellation of LEO satellites to launch an Internet service, named Kuiper.
It is still early days since India as yet does not have a policy in place to licence any of these hopefuls. It has yet to decide if it will give them the required spectrum -- and how -- by auction or otherwise.
See related story India opens the door to satellite based Internet services (indiatechonline.com)