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OneWeb in Talks with Indian Defense and Ministries to Present Satcom Use Cases: Report

The company is set to showcase use cases that can be adapted to offer satellite-based broadband services “in far flung and deep areas.”

Bharti Airtel-backed OneWeb is planning to showcase the various uses of satellite-based broadband services to Indian defense forces, and Ministries of Health and Education, according to a report by The Economic Times. The company is set to showcase use cases that can be adapted to offer such services “in far flung and deep areas,” the report said. The company is also expecting spectrum allocation soon, and once that happens, it will get its services up and running.

In November last year, OneWeb received approval from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), to launch Eutelsat, OneWeb’s commercial satellite broadband service, in India. Before that, it had also received approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), making it the first company to have all the necessary approvals to operate satcom services in India. OneWeb has also received in-principle approval to establish and operate two gateways (a ground station that transmits data to/from the satellite to the local area network) in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

OneWeb’s position on spectrum allocation:

OneWeb and Bharti Airtel had both advocated for administrative allocation of satellite spectrum. OneWeb had further suggested that the allocation should be on a non-exclusive basis with multiple satellite operators sharing spectrum. It said that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) also recommends this approach and widely adopted it internationally. It ensures stability and confidence for satellite operators and for the satellite industry to thrive.

Much to OneWeb’s relief the Telecommunication Act, 2023 allowed for administrative allocation. The act also allows the central government to assign a particular part of a spectrum that has already been assigned to an entity (known as the primary assignee) to one or more additional entities (secondary entities). This provision could make it possible for satcom operators to use spectrum on a shared basis.

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