The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a letter of intent (LoI) to Bharti group-backed OneWeb for satellite services in India, according to a report from PTI.
OneWeb is eyeing a full global coverage, including the India market, by the middle of 2022 with a constellation of 648 low-earth orbit satellites.
The report quoted sources saying: “DoT has issued LoI for global mobile personal communication by satellite (GMPCS) licence to OneWeb. The company needs to submit all compliances, fees, etc., after which licence will be issued to the company. It should take about a month in the whole process.”
The license has been given for 20 years and is likely to introduce its services in India by May 2022, reports CNBC.
Incidentally, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal recently announced that OneWeb will operate via Business to Business model in the country. The company will offer its services in remote areas, shipping agencies, railways, forest departments, and armed forces.
With this, Bharti group will become the only company in the country to have a presence in both satellite and terrestrial communication services. The company had applied for the licence in June 2021.
OneWeb is a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications (Satcom) company and is co-owned by the Bharti group and the UK government. It is planning to compete with the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper in the fairly nascent satellite broadband segment.