Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises and now a major investor in mega-constellation OneWeb, said the satellite operator was in talks with Sasken Technologies, as well as a division of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in order to reduce the costs of the antenna terminal.
OneWeb is building out its satellites and plans to launch services later this year to locations north of the 50 degree latitude.
OneWeb’s concept is to use a centralised terminal/antenna and where users living or working locally would access broadband transmissions. It is not OneWeb’s intention to have individual consumer units.
Mittal said that OneWeb’s immediate objective is to cut the India-pricing of two satellite user terminal variants—ESAs (electronically steered antenna systems) and DPAs (dual parabolic antenna systems) – by at least 50 per cent.
The more sophisticated – and expensive – DPA units (at about $5000-$6000 per unit today) are intended for use by maritime vessels and oil rigs.
“We are in active discussions with Sasken, NSIL and two to three new-age global tech companies to bring down the cost of user satellite access terminals in India […] the objective is to lower the price of ESAs to around $500-600 from $1,000 now, and the price of DPAs to around $2,000-2,500 apiece from $5,000-6,000 today,” Mittal said while speaking to local reporters.