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Satcom spectrum: Jio makes a pitch for auction, Bharti Airtel tight-lipped

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While Bharti Airtel has maintained silence on the issue of spectrum allocation for Satcom services by not taking a categorical position either for auctions or against it, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea are batting for auction of spectrum.Whereas Bharti Airtel has maintained silence on the difficulty of spectrum allocation for Satcom providers by not taking a categorical place both for auctions or in opposition to it, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Concept are batting for public sale of spectrum.

Amid the rising traction of satellite tv for pc communication (Satcom) providers and world tech majors evincing curiosity within the Indian market, incumbent telecom gamers appear to vary on allocate spectrum for such providers.

Whereas Bharti Airtel has maintained silence on the difficulty of spectrum allocation for Satcom providers by not taking a categorical place both for auctions or in opposition to it, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea are batting for public sale of spectrum.

Broadband India Discussion board, an affiliation of expertise gamers like Google, Hughes, and so forth, is against auctions and feels that since spectrum for Satcom isn’t unique to an operator as is the case with terrestrial spectrum used for cellular providers, auctioning is unnecessary.

“World over, satellite tv for pc spectrum is authorised for ‘right-to-use’ by all administrations and is allotted solely by administrative course of at fees basically masking the price of administration. Not like terrestrial spectrum, satellite tv for pc spectrum is rarely completely assigned to the operator however coordinated internationally and shared amongst a number of operators for various orbital slots and all varieties of satellites. Thus, the terrestrial idea of exclusivity doesn’t apply and auctioning due to this fact isn’t relevant,” Broadband India Discussion board (BIF) president, TV Ramachandran advised Monetary Categorical.

Satellite tv for pc communications is extraordinarily helpful for offering broadband providers in distant, hilly, and inaccessible areas. It’s also the one medium by means of which communication may be established in catastrophe zones when regular communication will get affected. In satellite tv for pc communications, providers are offered by means of low-earth orbit (Leo) satellites, by means of which a field is suspended in distant and hilly areas which creates WiFi spots by means of which broadband providers are offered.

In November 2020, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Enterprises obtained into this enterprise by means of a UK-based agency OneWeb. The corporate plans to launch a complete 360 satellites to assemble a world satellite tv for pc constellation that may present enhanced broadband and different providers to nations all over the world.

Starting Could-June 2022, OneWeb plans to launch business broadband providers in a number of elements of the globe in distant and hilly areas the place presently such providers usually are not accessible. The providers would begin from UK and the Arctic area and subsequently increase. Providers are anticipated to begin in India someday October 2022 onwards.

In current instances world tech majors like Amazon, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have additionally proven curiosity in such providers and India figures prominently of their plans.
Whereas Bharti has obtained into the satellite tv for pc recreation, Jio and Vodafone Concept are nonetheless to agency up any plans.

A headstart in satellite tv for pc communication providers is advantageous for a telecom operator as 5G providers are depending on it. Web of issues (IoT) relies on satellites.

No surprise, among the telecom operators need public sale of spectrum for satellite tv for pc providers. As an illustration, Reliance Jio feels that any spectrum band succesful for use for cellular/competing providers needs to be assigned strictly by means of public sale and each terrestrial and satellite tv for pc operators needs to be allowed to take part in that public sale after which these operators needs to be free to decide on whether or not they wish to use it for terrestrial or satellite-based community.

“Additional, project of even Ka/Ku/C band spectrum for Geo/Meo satellite tv for pc have to be performed by means of public sale solely,” Jio has advised the Trai, which has floated a session paper on licensing framework for satellite-based connectivity for low bit price functions.

Equally, Vodafone Concept, in its submission, has stated that to make sure optimum utilisation of treasured and scarce pure useful resource, spectrum for use for satellite-based providers needs to be put to public sale route solely earlier than allocations. “Every other administrative allocations would trigger enormous loss to nationwide exchequer,” Vodafone Concept has stated.

BIF’s Ramachandran counters such positions taken by Jio and Vodafone Concept. In keeping with him, auctioning of satellite tv for pc spectrum would, by the identical logic, entail taking again of all backhaul microwave spectrum and all Wi-Fi spectrum from the telecom operators and auctioning them. “Auctioning of satellite tv for pc spectrum would, by the identical logic, entail the taking again of all backhaul microwave spectrum and all Wifi spectrum, and auctioning them, which might patently disrupt all connectivity and the economic system,” Ramachandran stated.

“Furthermore, satellite tv for pc spectrum offers essential connectivity for catastrophe aid, helps bridge the digital divide in unserved/underserved areas, takes the extension of wi-fi protection to far-flung inaccessible areas and offers vital security communications within the excessive seas. For each above causes, administrations have rightly shunned contemplating public sale of satellite tv for pc spectrum,” he added.

SIA-India, a newly launched affiliation of satellite tv for pc gamers, has stated that spectrum entry is essential for satellite tv for pc broadband providers. “Solely satellite tv for pc can carry broadband to India’s huge geographic areas in a sensible timeframe since in contrast to terrestrial 5G, it doesn’t require expansive infrastructure on the bottom like road furnishings, proper of means, fibre laying and so forth. Advances in expertise imply that, in contrast to terrestrial the place a specific spectrum needs to be dedicatedly allotted to a selected service supplier, the satellite tv for pc spectrum is reused by a number of satellites,” Anil Prakash, DG, SIA-India stated.

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