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OneWeb gears up to set up earth station in India

The Sunil Mittal-backed broadband satellite services company, OneWeb, is set to receive the licence to set up earth stations in India.

Sources told BusinessLine The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sent the satellite company a letter of intent saying the company will soon be granted the GMPCS licence.

OneWeb will be setting up two earth stations in India.

Since LEO technology can provide low latency broadband services to consumers, it is gearing up to become a major disruptor in the satcom space, making satellite communications competitive to traditional terrestrial connectivity services. Reliance Jio through its joint venture with SES has also entered the satcom race and applied for the GMPCs licence. Other companies interested in providing satellite broadband and backhaul services include Canadian company Telesat and Elon Musk-backed Starlink.

Delay due to Ukraine crisis
OneWeb spokesperson had told BusinessLine earlier that the company aims at becoming operational by mid- year. However, sources told BusinessLine that there is likley to be some delay before the satellite player deploys its commercial serivces, for which one of the reasons is Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Allocation vs auction
The next major hurdle for the company is whether they will be allocated satellite spectrum to dispense broadband services or will it be auctioned. Sunil Bharti Mittal told BusinessLine that satellite spectrum cannot be auctioned, however Reliance Jio remains adamant that the spectrum be auctioned as is the case with terrestrial operators. The Hindu BusinessLine

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