Tata Group’s Nelco launched into the maritime communication services, making it the first Indian company to provide broadband services to the maritime sector, according to a statement by the Ministry of Communication.

What will this do? This will enable voice and internet services for vessels on Indian waters. Nelco also said that they’ll form global partnerships to place transponder capacity on ISRO’s satellite. They said, this will help energy, cargo and cruise vessels.

Who are they competing with? Hughes Communications India, which was the first company to get the  In-flight and Maritime Communications license. Globally, this sector is dominated by KVH Industries according to a report by The Hindu.

What is maritime communication? Maritime communication involves ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore communication. Nelco’s website says that this is essential, especially for commercial vessels, since they need high-speed connections for business related information such as ERP (enterprise resource planning), email and video conferencing among other things.

License for maritime communications: The government had announced licenses for In-flight and Maritime Communications (IFMC) in December 2018. This license allows voice and internet services while flying over Indian skies and sailing in Indian waters, both for international and Indian aircraft and vessels. Nelco got this license in March this year.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was present at the launch, however, he didn’t talk much about Nelco entering into maritime communications, and chose to talk about Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar and digital payments.

Go Deeper: A complete lowdown on the Department of Telecom’s in-flight and maritime connectivity rules.