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OneWeb, Jio licensed for India coverage

November 14, 2023

By Chris Forrester

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has granted operational licences to OneWeb and Jio for their satellite-based broadband schemes. However, spectrum allocations has yet to be determined.

Jio received its ISP licence in October, and the same permission has now been issued to OneWeb. As yet there is no news on Elon Musk’s Starlink system having been licensed.

The DoT confirmed that Jio Satellite Communications and Eutelsat OneWeb have been granted the requisite licences to provide satellite internet services in India. Both companies already held the GMPCS (Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite) licence, alongside a pan-India ISP (Internet Service Provider) licence. The DoT allocated ISP-A and a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) licence to OneWeb last week.

Jio is partnering with SES for the supply of bandwidth.

“The companies were issued an ISP (Internet Service Provider) licence recently. They can provide internet services connecting satellite service with terrestrial networks or through VSAT to end customers,” an official from the DoT said.

However, there are local reports which suggest that there remain significant challenges which are faced by both companies and which revolve around the satellite spectrum itself, which is currently a subject of internal government debate.

Decisions are still to be made but there are differing opinions within the government on whether the spectrum should simply be allocated administratively or sold off via an auction process.

Amazon and Starlink are also in the process of obtaining the GMPCS licence over India. Starlink is said to be anticipating securing its licence soon.

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