Update| 14:25, May 28, 2020
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In a bid to ramp up operations of fifth-generation (5G) technology in India, Pune-based spacetech startup VestaSpace Technology is planning to launch more than 35 satellites from September onwards to facilitate pan-India 5G service.
With this, the startup is aiming to tap the next generation of telecom technology by early 2021. Founder and CEO of Vestaspace Technologies Arun Kumar Sureban said that a beta version of the next-generation satellite constellations is planned for September 2020.
“The launch of a fully operational constellation of satellites into ‘Low-Earth-Orbit or Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit’ will take place by 2021,” he added.
The startup is looking to launch more than 35 satellites and Sureban believes that this will try to replace the existing fibre network across the country. In 5G, signals will be transmitted through satellites directly, which will reduce the pressure on fibre networks.
The development has come after VestaSpace Technology raised $10 Mn in fresh funding from Next Capital. The startup had said that the funding will be used for its expansion plans in India and globally.
VestaSpace Technology’s 5G Plans
According to a report by MoneyControl, VestaSpace Technology is also in talks with the department of technology for spectrum in 28 GHz band for commencing 5G operations in India.
As of now, VestaSpace Technology is looking to position eight ground stations and 31K data receptors all over India. Sureban believes that this network of satellites and data receptors will solve the complex challenges in providing 5G network solutions to the urban, rural and unserved regions. The deployment of such a vast network for 5G is made possible with the help of accurate positioning and telemetry related activities, Sureban said.
VestaSpace Technology is also said to be working on various strategic projects in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among other prestigious space agencies. Sureban said that these projects are helping Vestaspace to expand globally.
However, the company is now looking to initially launch its operations in India before rolling out its services for other countries. “We will start operations in India first. We will provide service to telecom operators and internet service providers who will sell it further to end customers,” Sureban said.
5G In India
With 5G cellular networks already becoming more and more common in Western markets as well as in China, South Korea and other parts of Asia, India’s 5G efforts have not even begun, majorly due to the lack of proper infrastructure.
Recently, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), in a letter dated May 12, 2020, asked the government to constitute a committee with industry stakeholders to review the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) for the incorporation of new telecom frequency bands for commercial uses.
Till now, DoT is yet to form relevant study groups and revise the 2018 version of NFAP to include more bands including mmWave frequencies as a part of 5G roadmap. Meanwhile, mmWave has proven to be a successful implementation for facilities and buildings in countries like the US. This mmWave can deliver high-speed internet in Indian commercial and retail spaces if implemented in the right manner.