ISRO-Hughes’ Satellite Broadband Internet Service a 1st for India

ISRO-Hughes' Satellite Broadband Internet Service

In an effort to provide broadband internet services to the remotest regions of India, Hughes Communications India (HCI), in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has launched its first high throughput satellite (HTS) broadband internet service in the country. This is essentially the country’s first publicly available internet from space. 

According to a report in The Week, the ISRO-Hughes HTS service covers “terrestrial underserved states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, parts of Uttarakhand, all North East states including Sikkim, West Bengal, parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, etc.”

“Additionally, we have coverage over Bombay High and KG Basin specifically meant for off-shore rigs and ships working in that area,” said a Hughes official to The Week.

ISRO Chairman Dr S Somnath said that the partnership with HCI would help improve people’s lives.

“With the new HTS capabilities powered by ISRO satellites, we are confident that HCI will continue to deliver excellent quality satellite broadband services and further enhance the connectivity experience that accelerates India’s digital transformation. With its inherent advantages and ubiquitous nature, the new HTS service will play a pivotal role in extending broadband connectivity to the remotest locations difficult to reach otherwise, and create economic opportunities to boost the local economy,” said Dr Somnath.  

Here are five things to know about the ISRO-Hughes HTS service:

  1. HCI will use ISRO’s Ku-band capacity of the GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites to provide high-speed broadband service across India.
  2. HCI is already helping our security forces at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and border areas with the HTS technology.
  3. Hughes India uses its home-grown Jupiter system for HTS, as well as its conventional satellite services worldwide. According to WION, HCI is currently providing satellite broadband access to more than 2 lakh business and government sites across India.
  4. What’s special about HTS when compared to traditional satellites is that since it uses spot beam technology, it can focus on a limited area, providing faster connectivity. “HTS provides much more bandwidth. It provides much lower-cost bandwidth, and it provides a much higher user experience,” said Shivaji Chatterjee, senior vice-president, Hughes India to WION.
  5. The current capacity of Hughes is 1 GBPS but it is expected to be grown between 10 GPBS to 100 GBPS in the future. The company also plans to set up community wi-fi hotspots and extend internet connectivity in areas where mobile network reach is poor.

More private players are expected to enter this market now, like Sunil Bharti Mittal’s OneWeb, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, Jio, etc.

Sources:

‘ISRO and Hughes launch India’s first commercial satellite broadband service’ by Abhinav Singh for WION, Published on 13 September, 2022

‘What India’s first internet-from-space launch this week means for common man’ by K Sunil Thomas for The Week, Published on 20 September, 2022

Edited by Yoshita Rao

Author: Aaron Ryan