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India’s GSAT-11 to provide broadband connectivity in rural areas


The Union Cabinet has given a nod for the procurement of launch equipment and other services for the GSAT-11 spacecraft, which shall help provide broadband to rural areas through satellite-based VSAT technology, the government said through a notification issued to the Press Information Bureau. The entire project comes at a cost of Rs 1,117 crore and is currently being developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It will be ready for launch by the end of this year.

The satellite will be prepared to launch after procurement of a launch vehicle from outside the country due to a heavy 5600 kg lift-off mass, the statement added. The ground segment of the project is also under construction and once completed, GSAT-11 will address rural communication requirements using a long-distance microwave frequency band called Ku-band. Around 10 Gbps of broadband bandwidth will be rendered to rural regions, by augmenting the Ku-band’s capabilities.

“The ground segment of GSAT-11 will enable the utilisation of a small portion of the bandwidth for societal services apart from providing in orbit testing support,” added the statement.

Agartala to get 10 GB bandwidth: Last week, it was reported that Agartala would get 10 GB of additional internet bandwidth through an agreement between India’s state run telco BSNL and Bangladesh’s Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL). The connectivity project between the two countries was originally inked between the two countries in July last year.

India’s own GPS satellite: In July 2013, ISRO had launched its first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System), the first of the 7 different navigation satellites to be launched. ISRO had plans to launch the remaining satellites by 2015-16, following which it would be able to provide independent navigation service in the country.

Similar developments in satellite internet:

-In July Facebook said that it was working on delivering internet globally via a bunch of drones, satellites and lasers by beaming internet signals from a plane or a satellite flying overhead, which will communicate to earth using accurate lasers to transfer data.

– In June 2015 OneWeb, raised $500 million from Bharti Enterprises, Virgin Atlantic and other investors. It plans to provide high speed internet access globally via 648 satellites it intends to launch by 2019.

– In February 2015, Google said that it was looking to bring Project Loon, its balloon powered Internet service to India, and was working with the government for the same. In December last year, the project got and approval from the Indian government for running a pilot in India.

Image sourceNASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center under CC BY-NC 2.0

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