India Mobile Congress: Satellite communication to connect remote India at cheaper cost

One of the greatest barriers in reaching out to the remotest areas could soon be a thing of the past. With the rise in satellite communication (Sat-Comm) technology the government and the private sector is jointly working on to extend the digital network infrastructure to the cut off parts of India.Telecom industry leaders and senior government officials present at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) today emphasised on the need of ramping up Sat-Comm technology that is now more affordable and easy to deploy. 

According to VJ Christopher, wireless adviser to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) under the Ministry of Communication, a paradigm shift has taken place in India’s Sat-Com sector. While the satellite communication technology has been available since the 1980s, due to its high cost the tech was now available to the masses. That, however, has changed with improvement in India’s space program strength. While 3D printing and other technologies like lighter solar panels are bringing down the cost. As the Sat-Comm tech is used by a larger number of people, the cost would drop further.

Moreover, says Prafull Kumar, Vice President & Product Head at Reliance Jio, advancement in space technology like reusable satellites would help cut down deployment costs.
As per a latest report by KPMG in India, the country’s satellite communications market is expected to grow manifold in the next five years. It is estimated that the Sat-Comm sector that currently stands at US$ 2.3 billion a year in India will grow to US$ 20 billion by 2028, said Naveen Aggarwal, Office Managing Partner, KPMG in India.

India is currently at the fourth place in terms of investments  in the Sat-Comm sector globally. Nearly US$ 2 billion was invested in 110 firms in the local Sat-Comm sector. While it is at the 5th place in terms of private space companies and start-ups ecosystem.