The company has pledged to provide high-speed satellite broadband services to remote sites across India using ISRO’s GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites, from the northeast to isolated areas like Leh and Ladakh.
On Monday, Hughes Communications India (HCI), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and other partners formally launched the nation’s first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband internet service. For the previous year, the business had tested its operations in North India.
The company has pledged to provide high-speed satellite broadband services to remote sites across India using ISRO’s Ku-band capability of GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites, from the northeast to remote areas like Leh and Ladakh.
The company is already helping the Indian Army and paramilitary troops that monitor the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and other far-flung border outposts through the use of HTS technology.
The relationship with the commercial sector, according to ISRO Chairman Dr. S. Somnath, who was present at the launch, will enable people’s lives be improved.
“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.” said Dr Somnath.
It is important to mention that HTS service clients right now include cooperative banks, 4G telecommunications providers, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Hughes currently has 1 Gbps of HTS capacity, but plans to expand it to 10 Gbps or 100 Gbps in the future.
Partho Banerjee, president and managing director of HCI, was asked if the company might be able to compete when major players like Starlink or Amazon make their way into the increasingly alluring satellite broadband service. He responded that despite being in the B2B segment, their pricing was competitive.
“Currently, we are majorly operating in the B2B sector. In the B2B space, the value proposition is quite different from consumer space or single connectivity. There will be different segments but we are definitely cost-competitive. We are moving to the next generation of K band satellites as well where we will become even more cost-competitive,” Banerjee told WION.
A Make-In-India Initiative
Senior vice-president of Hughes India, Shivaji Chatterjee, said that the company was fully committed to the Make in India project.
“Of course the satellite is Indian (laughs). However, under Hughes India, we have a lot of products made in India. So far Reliance Jio, the entire system, the outdoor modem etc. are made in India. The antenna and the dishes you see are completely made by the company in India. The Indian Oil and SD-WAN project are also made in India,” Chatterjee told WION.
What Is HTS?
In a nutshell, a high-throughput satellite is different from a traditional satellite in that it can carry more data while using the same amount of orbital spectrum while paying less per bit.
According to Chatterjee, “HTS provides much more bandwidth. It provides much lower-cost bandwidth, and it provides a much higher user experience.”
In contrast to conventional satellites, which employ a wide single beam or a few beams, HTS operates using a spot-beam. Spot beam technology offers seamless and quick connectivity while allowing emphasis on a small region.
Throughout the world, Hughes India deploys both HTS and traditional satellites using its own Jupiter system. In India, HCI now offers satellite broadband connection to over two lakh commercial and governmental locations.