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Eutelsat OneWeb gets India’s go-ahead for satellite broadband services

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Bengaluru: Eutelsat subsidiary Eutelsat OneWeb on Tuesday said it has received approval from India’s space regulator to launch commercial satellite broadband services in the country.

Prime Minister Modi’s government, which is heading towards elections next year, is emphasizing the development of India’s space industry. After India paved the way for private launches in 2020, space startups increased from 21 to 47.

Investors invested $119 million in Indian space startups in 2022, up from the total of $38 million in all years till 2017. They see a low-cost alternative to European launchers that are grounded or under development, as well as access to one. Analysts say bustling manufacturing hub

“Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives final spectrum authorization to launch commercial services,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman of the Board of Eutelsat Group.

The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center said in a statement that the approval for Eutelsat OneWeb’s constellation was valid for a period of five years.

OneWeb is backed by Indian billionaire Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises. Mittal also runs Airtel, India’s No. 2 telecom carrier in terms of users. In March, OneWeb partnered with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to launch 36 satellites.

The $400 billion global commercial space market is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2030, but currently India’s share is only 2 percent, which the government wants to change.

The Indian government has said that by 2040 its market will be worth 40 billion dollars.

Reuters has previously reported how Elon Musk’s Starlink is at odds with Ambani’s Reliance over the distribution of satellite broadband spectrum in India, setting the stage for a fight between the world’s two richest men.

Amazon’s Project Kuiper is also in talks with regulators to provide satellite broadband services in India, the Economic Times newspaper reported last month.


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