India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which is the country’s sole source of authorised satellite broadcasting capacity, has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a ‘gap-filler’ satellite.
The RFP calls for a satellite – either in orbit now but perhaps nearing the end of its operational life – or for a new satellite that would be in orbit this year, and then leased to ISRO for about three years. ISRO would then re-sell the available capacity to India’s fast-expanding media broadcasters.
ISRO has about a dozen satellites in orbit, and also recognises authorised capacity from operators such as SES. A 2015 study showed that ISRO had some 286 transponders under its control. ISRO has plans to launch five new satellites this year including science missions.
ISRO says it needs more satellite capacity and has 12-18 satellites in the planning stage.