Satellite connectivity should be affordable: Trai chief | HT Tech

Satellite connectivity should be affordable: Trai chief

The telecom regulator's chief said the government decision to allow participation of the private sector in the satellite services segment will push digital empowerment in the country.

By:PTI
| Updated on: Sep 11 2020, 02:00 IST
Representational image.
Representational image. (Pixabay)

Trai Chairman R S Sharma on Thursday said the price of broadband services to be provided through satellites should be affordable otherwise it will pose a challenge in its adoption in the country.

The telecom regulator's chief said the government decision to allow participation of the private sector in the satellite services segment will push digital empowerment in the country.

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"Trai has been advocating for open-sky policy, private satellites, liberal satcom (satellite communications) policy and affordable price. India is a price-sensitive market and telecom broadband tariffs are already very low," Sharma said at an ITU-APT Foundation virtual seminar.

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He said connectivity at higher price points will find challenge in adoption of satellite broadband services.

In 2004, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended that an 'open-sky' policy should be adopted for VSAT (very small aperture terminal) operators similar to what is available to internet service providers and broadcasters.

The regulator had said VSAT service providers should be allowed to work directly with any international satellite.

ISRO Scientific Secretary R Umamaheswaran said focus is to allow the private sector to carry out their activity in the satellite segment by bringing in enabling mechanisms through space policy and space activity bills that are in the pipeline.

He clarified that the intention is not to privatise the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) but to enable the private sector to meet their requirement and aspiration, keeping in mind national safety and security and protecting natural resources.

"We expect the private sector will provide launch services, build their own satellite and carry out their space-based services. The enabling mechanism will be to handhold private players," Umamaheswaran said.

He added that there will be a national-level nodal autonomous body that will permit and monitor private sector activity as per existing regulations.

"To achieve this, we need to enact the space activity Bill. It is with the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) and will go for inter-ministerial consultation and finally be brought in Parliament for approval," Umamaheswaran said.

He said the space activity bill will clear all guidelines related to bringing in mechanisms for enhancing participation of the private sector in the space services. 

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First Published Date: 11 Sep, 02:00 IST
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