In a significant stride towards transforming the telecommunications landscape in India, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has recently granted Internet Service Provider (ISP) licenses to Jio Satellite Communications and One Web. This strategic move comes a year after both companies secured permits to offer satellite communication services, marking a pivotal milestone in their shared mission to revolutionize internet connectivity across the country. The ISP licenses now held by Jio Satellite Communications and One Web empower them to seamlessly integrate satellite capabilities with terrestrial networks, thereby providing internet services. These licenses also enable the utilization of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) technology, facilitating direct connections with end consumers. The granting of these licenses signifies a commitment to bridging the digital divide and extending internet access to regions that were previously underserved.
However, the complete realization of their vision hinges on the crucial aspect of spectrum access, which remains pending. Spectrum access is essential for ensuring the efficient and reliable provision of satellite-based internet services. Resolving this issue will be pivotal for Jio Satellite Communications and One Web to fully unlock the potential of their comprehensive connectivity initiatives. One Web, backed by the Bharti Group, has strategically positioned its constellation of satellites in both geostationary (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO). This strategic positioning optimizes coverage and minimizes latency, promising a robust and reliable satellite communication service. Bharti Airtel Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, announced at the India Mobile Congress that One Web’s services are poised to connect every corner of the country, with implementation expected to commence in the coming month.
On the other hand, Jio Satellite Communications has entered into a partnership with Luxembourg SES Satellites, leveraging a combination of GEO and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites. This collaboration enhances the company’s ability to provide comprehensive coverage and high-speed broadband services. Demonstrating its commitment, Reliance Jio showcased satellite-based giga-fiber services at the India Mobile Congress, signaling an intent to deliver high-speed broadband to historically underserved regions. These developments underscore the growing significance of satellite-based internet services in expanding connectivity across vast and remote areas. As Jio Satellite Communications and One Web navigate the challenges of securing spectrum access, the industry anticipates a transformative impact on internet accessibility in India. The emphasis on affordability and competitive pricing signals a commitment to making high-speed broadband services accessible to a broader population, potentially reshaping the digital landscape in the country.