Advanced Television

India: TRAI delays satellite licences

November 21, 2022

By Chris Forrester

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) says it needs more time for consultation ahead of any approvals to operational requests from Starlink, OneWeb and Jio Satellite and to licence their broadband activity in India.

TRAI is reportedly going to take until the New Year before it issues a consultation paper which will outline its methodology of allocating spectrum to the applicants.

“We are aware that department of telecommunications has issued their reference calling for auctioning the satellite spectrum but we will follow a consultative process and then give our recommendations on the subject,” Trai officials said.

Some India authorities have already issued the Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence to OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications, a unit of Reliance Jio, to offer satellite-based internet services. Other companies which have applied for the licence include Elon Musk’s Starlink and Tata Group’s Nelco.

In April, Trai had recommended that spectrum in the band of 24.25-28.5 GHz band be auctioned, which includes 27.5-28.5 GHz frequency range for satellite services.

Recently, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal had argued against the auction scheme for allocation of satellite spectrum. According to Mr Mittal, the auction should not apply for satellite services which do not compete with mobile services. The satellite companies, including Bharti’s OneWeb project, are also waiting for the government to release its Spacecom policy.

Categories: Articles, Policy, Regulation, Satellite