Indian space authority clears Eutelsat OneWeb for ignition

Eutelsat Group, the company created by a merger of Eutelsat and OneWeb, asserted its local unit was the first in India to receive approval from the nation’s space activities regulator for a satellite broadband service, with a commercial launch expected as soon as it receives the necessary spectrum.

In a statement issued under the Eutelsat OneWeb moniker, the company explained subsidiary OneWeb India had been given the all clear by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), having already been granted a licence from the Department of Telecommunications.         

IN-SPACe is the Indian government agency charged with authorising and supervising space activities of companies. Its remit includes the launch of birds, infrastructure sharing and provision of services from satellites.    

Eutelsat OneWeb highlighted its LEO constellation was already in place and it had approval in principal to establish and operate gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. These, it noted, would “secure the provision of vital high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity to customers across India”.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Group chair and co-chair of Eutelsat Group, said the move was a “critical step forward to meet India’s ambition of providing internet connectivity for all”, adding “Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorisation to launch commercial services”.

It is the latest bullish comment outlining the potential of satellite connectivity in India, where a number of major players including Space X’s Starlink, Amazon and Reliance Jio are tussling for position.  

Eutelsat Group was established after the French company and OneWeb completed a move to combine their operations in September.

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