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Government likely to delay allocation of satcom airwaves to fine-tune rules: ET Telecom

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In Short:

The government is taking their time to allocate spectrum to satellite communication companies like Bharti-backed Eutelsat Oneweb and Reliance Jio. They are finalizing rules on security and seeking input from stakeholders before moving forward. The spectrum will be allocated administratively and may include restrictions on serving retail customers. Telecom companies are divided on the issue, with Airtel supporting administrative allocation and Jio and Vodafone Idea wanting auctions. The government is cautious as the technology is evolving, and they want to protect competition and revenue. Eutelsat Oneweb has received trial spectrum for testing, but cannot offer commercial services yet. The potential for satellite communications in India is significant, especially in rural areas.

Is the Delay in Satcom Airwave Allocation Related to Elon Musk’s Company’s Success in India?

The delay in satcom airwave allocation is not directly related to Elon Musk’s satcom company‘s success in India. The process of allocating airwaves involves various regulatory and technical considerations, and it is not influenced by the success of any particular company in the market.

Government’s Deliberate Approach to Spectrum Allotment for Satcom Companies

Hey there! So here’s the latest scoop – the government seems to be taking its time when it comes to allotting spectrum to satcom companies like Bharti-backed Eutelsat Oneweb and Reliance Jio’s satellite venture. This news might dampen the hopes of an early roll out of services by these companies who have been eagerly pushing for a quick allotment, even if on a temporary basis.

Modalities and Consultations in Progress

According to officials in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), they are currently working on finalizing the modalities around the mechanism of allotment. This includes defining rules on security, which need to be ironed out before any spectrum can be allocated.

The DoT is also planning to conduct more consultations with stakeholders regarding the allocation process, which has to be done administratively under the new telecom law.

Divide Among Telecom Companies

Interestingly, there seems to be a bit of a divide among telecom companies when it comes to satcom spectrum. Both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are standing on opposite sides of the spectrum (pun intended!).

While Bharti Airtel is in favor of administrative allocation without auctions, Jio and Vodafone Idea prefer that the bandwidth goes to the highest bidder. The debate continues as they fight over utilizing the spectrum for offering fixed wireless access services.

Looking Ahead to the Future

The government is being cautious about the allotment issue, considering the fast-evolving nature of technology. They are also looking ahead to a future where satcom services could potentially be offered directly to mobile consumers on their handsets.

The aim is to finalize rules that will protect competition and government revenue in the long run.

The Potential of Satellite Communications in India

The satellite communications market in India is currently in its infancy but holds significant potential, especially in rural and remote areas. An EY-ISpA report suggests that India’s space economy is expected to reach $13 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6%.

Exciting times ahead for the world of satellite communications! Stay tuned for more updates on this evolving technology landscape.

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