Chandrasekhar added that satcom is emerging as an important part of the plans to deliver quality internet to all citizens and enterprises in India
The MoS’ comments came a day after communication minister Ashwini Vaishnaw introduced several satcom reforms
India’s satcom segment is shaping up as a three-horse race, with Starlink, OneWeb and Jio Space Tech competing for the first-mover advantage
Speaking at the India Space Congress 2022, the Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that satellite-based communication (satcom), will play a key role in the delivery of quality internet to Indians.
“Our goal…is by 2025-26 to have 1.2 Bn Indians have the ability to connect to the internet directly through their device, and…role of satellite communications and space segment is an inherent part of this,” Chandrasekhar said.
The minister added that the bandwidth and latency of the internet are important to economic development. “Internet is accelerating the digital economy with satellites playing an important part,” he added.
Talking more on the same, Chandrasekhar added that satcom is emerging as an important part of the plans to deliver quality internet to all citizens and enterprises in India.
”We have momentum going there, which makes us competitive with the rest of the world in terms of scale and quality and size, and innovation and applications that our startups are creating. But our focus is now also on the nuts and bolts of the internet, the underlying electronics, technology, devices and products that power the internet” the minister said.
The government is also undertaking various measures to promote underlying technologies such as microelectronics and semiconductors to increase internet penetration in India, according to the minister of state.
Chandrasekhar’s comments come just a day after Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister for Communications, Electronic, IT and Railways introduced several reforms for satcom.
According to Vaishnaw, the reforms would ease procedures and streamline clearances, which would expedite service rollout by satcom players. The government also recently eased the norms for obtaining the Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence, needed to operate as a satcom player in India.
It is prudent to mention that India’s satcom segment is shaping up to become a three-horse race, with Elon Musk’s Starlink, Airtel-backed OneWeb and Jio Space Tech all lining up to gain the first-mover advantage.
It is understood that all three have at least applied with the telecom department (DoT) for the GMPCS licence, with OneWeb obtaining the licence back in June. Jio Space Tech has also received a nod from the DoT to launch its satcom services.
India’s spacetech segment is becoming a global powerhouse, driven by the government and ISRO’s positive outlook towards spacetech startups. According to an Inc42 analysis, India’s commercial spacetech segment is set to grow to $77 Bn by 2030.
At the India Space Congress 2022, the Satcom India Association (SIA-India) is also organising the iDEX 75 Space Challenges to help spacetech startups in India. Five finalists from the challenges will pitch their ideas on October 27 to an elite panel at the session ‘Pitch Right for Skyrocketing Startups’.