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May, 24

Our satellite services are expected to start by Diwali: Sunil Mittal

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Bharti Enterprises on Friday said that its satellite communications services through OneWeb are expected to start in the next 60 days. It was hopeful of getting approvals from the government soon, they added.

Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said its satellite company OneWeb will launch satellite communications services around Diwali after approval from the government, which is expected soon.

‘Satellites are up’

“We are almost ready. In India, we will hopefully have the policy in place. Our satellites are up, ground stations are in advanced stages. I think it’s a matter of 60 days, we will be ready and I am hopeful something comes to us,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, told businessline.

The company has 634 Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites which are up already and it has also gotten Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) and national long-distance (NLD) communication licenses from the government.

Gujarat SNP

The Bharti-backed company was also supposed to launch a ‘Satellite Network Portal site’ (SNP) at Mehsana in Gujarat, a first for India, but it is being delayed due to the floods last month. Mittal said that it is also expected to start soon, along with the satellite communication services in other parts of the country.

“I think we had some delays in the Gujarat SNP because of the floods. But, I think by Diwali it will be ready at least the pilots will start, the experiments will start,” he added.

In March this year, OneWeb had confirmed the successful deployment and contact of 36 satellites launched by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. OneWeb’s satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed in nine phases with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.

Other companies

According to government sources, the satellite communication services may kick off in the next few months from all three companies – Bharti, Reliance Jio and Starlink.

Elon Musk owned Startlink has been trying to enter India and in 2021, it had already opened pre-booking channels, which was forced to stop by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and was asked to apply for a license first to operate.

DoT officials are likely to meet on September 20, to decide to allow Starlink to operate in India through a proper channel.





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