The Indian Space Association (ISpA) has criticized the suggestions on flexible usage of satellite spectrum, calling it an attempt to mislead and disrupt the spectrum allocation process for satellite communication services. Telecom operators are divided on the allocation of space-based spectrum, with OneWeb and Amazon supporting administrative allocation and Reliance Jio advocating for auctioning. In response to media reports, ISpA stated that seeking flexible usage of satellite spectrum is an effort to mislead the spectrum allocation process.
The ISpA, representing the private space sector in India, emphasized that the New Zealand government’s decision on the use of the 26 GHz spectrum band does not endorse the flexible usage of satellite spectrum. It merely outlines shared usage and states that a final decision will be made by 2026 after consultations. The private space industry in India is still in its nascent stage, and recent missions like Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 have enhanced its growth potential.
ISpA believes that administrative allocation of satellite spectrum is crucial for nation-building and fueling the Indian space economy. The Department of Space and IN-SPACe have expressed support for administrative allocation, citing concerns that auctioning spectrum would pose a barrier to growth and hinder the innovation drive of space startups and other private players in the country.
Overall, ISpA asserts that the suggestions for flexible usage of satellite spectrum are misleading and do not align with the government’s efforts to boost the development of the Indian space sector.
(Note: This story has been edited for length and clarity.)