The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) has granted authorization to Eutelsat OneWeb’s satellite constellation to provide capacity in India. This authorization makes OneWeb India Communication Private Limited the first company authorized by IN-SPACe to offer Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation capacity in the country.
OneWeb India aims to provide internet services to rural and unconnected areas, as well as the territorial waters of India, on a 24×7 basis. The Eutelsat OneWeb constellation, consisting of 648 satellites in circular polar orbits at an altitude of 1,200km, is expected to deliver approximately 21 Gbps throughput over India.
The authorization granted to the Eutelsat OneWeb constellation is valid for five years, subject to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) allocating the necessary spectrum for both gateways and user terminal operations. Additional regulatory licenses and approvals are also required.
IN-SPACe believes that this initiative will play a vital role in bridging the digital divide in both urban and rural/remote areas of India.
The merger between Eutelsat Communications SA (ETL) and Bharti-backed OneWeb was announced in September of this year. While the company remains headquartered in Paris, OneWeb will operate as Eutelsat OneWeb, with its center in London.
Prior to the merger, OneWeb had launched two batches of 36 satellites each from India for its constellation. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Founder-Chairman of Bharati Enterprises and Vice-President (Co-Chair) of Eutelsat OneWeb, stated that the launches from India were crucial for the company. He also mentioned that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and their GSLV-Mk3 or LVM3 rocket were now the main competitors to SpaceX, as Russia’s Soyuz had lost favor after the Ukraine conflict and France’s Arianespace experienced delays in new rocket development.