Tata group to offer satellite broadband services in India through Telesat’s Lightspeed brand

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Tata group to offer satellite broadband services in India through Telesat’s Lightspeed brand
(Representative image) Tata and Telesat plan to offer their satellite broadband services by 2024.Unsplash
  • Tata group’s Nelco is reportedly in final talks with Canadian firm Telesat to bring its Lightspeed satellite broadband internet services in India.
  • Both companies plan to ready their satellite broadband services by 2024 in India and globally.
  • Tata and Telesat are also working on ways to make their services affordable to users.
India may have the second-highest number of internet users in the world but there’s still a large fraction of people especially in the rural areas without access to high-speed internet connectivity. The solution to this problem could be satellite broadband connectivity that will cover even remote areas where telecom towers or fibre connections are hard to reach. There are already three companies planning to provide satellite broadband internet in India, and the latest to join is Tata group’s Nelco.

According to a report by ET Telecom, Nelco is planning to offer satellite broadband services in India through the Canadian firm Telesat’s Lightspeed brand. Both companies are in the final stages of the arrangement, and plan to offer its services in India by 2024, the report added. Satellite broadband services aim to solve problems that mobile internet or fibre broadband can’t but it’s also the most expensive of the three. Tata and Telesat plan to work on the business-to-business (B2B) model wherein the satellite bandwidth will be offered to telcos so that they can provide to areas where mobile connectivity is weak. The two companies also plan to work on ways to make satellite broadband affordable in India.

Telesat’s global plan for satellite broadband services include an investment of almost $5 billion for a constellation of around 298 LEO satellites. Although expensive, LEO satellites offer stronger signals and faster speeds than traditional fixed-satellite networks as they orbit closer to the Earth. Telesat and Tata plan to take things further with their satellite broadband services once the new Spacecom policy that should offer better clarity for LEO satellite systems operators and setting up in-country satellite gateways, is out.

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Telesat will be joining Bharti Enterprises-backed OneWeb, Elon Musk’s Starlink and even Amazon for satellite internet in India. OneWeb plans to offer its services in India by May 2022 which would make it the first company to do so. Musk’s Starlink is also aiming for a 2022 launch timeframe with the company already accepting pre-booking applications for its satellite internet services.

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