Banks, schools, and consumer utilities, backed by the government’s Digital Indian programme and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and which are located in far-flung corners of the country with little to no internet access, will now be able to avail of high-speed broadband services using a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) service.
A leading provider of broadband satellite and managed network services, Hughes Communications India announced the commercial rollout of the country’s first HTS broadband service on Monday. The service combines the national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Ku band satellite frequency on high throughput communication satellites GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 with Hughes Jupiter Platform ground technology to deliver high-speed broadband across the country.
This includes most remote areas located in the northeast, hill states of western Himalayas, Rajasthan’s Thar desert and heavily forested areas in states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra that are affected by Left-wing extremism (LWE).
In LWE areas especially, where there have been several instances of insurgents blowing up telecom towers, satellite broadband will help ensure connectivity.
Connecting enterprise and government networks, the service will support applications such as Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access, managed Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) to securely connect users to applications, backhaul to extend the reach of mobile networks and satellite internet for SMEs.
Secretary Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO, Dr. S Somnath said, “The benefits of the [HTS] service are overwhelming, and it will take users to an affordable and higher broadband capacity.”
Adding that the move was part of the efforts by the government to expand the public-private partnership in India’s space ecosystem, Dr. Somnath stressed that the national space agency would continue to explore newer ways of improving people’s lives by bridging the digital divide.
Although not as cheap as a regular broadband connection, the service will be available to users at rates that are far lower than those for existing satellite-based broadband services.
Speaking to Business Today, executive vice president of Hughes Communications India, Shivaji Chatterjee claimed, “Compared to what the cost of such services is presently we will be providing it five times cheaper.”
“If we acquired 300 MHz spectrum over the last ten years using traditional satellites, just in the last year we have added about 450 MHz of HTS spectrum. That shows when something is cost-effective, it gives you that kind of scalability. And we hope that in a year or two to be talking in terms of thousands of MHz, which is GHz of the spectrum,” remarked Chatterjee.
Hughes Communications India provides satellite broadband across more than two lakh business and government sites in India.
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