Elon Musk Wins When India allocate satellite internet Airwaves


The Development Of Satellite Broadband Services

The proposed telecoms bill in India calls for the distribution of the spectrum to satellite internet service providers through a licensing system. Elon Musk’s Starlink and other foreign businesses stand to gain from this decision as it avoids the auction-based system that they had opposed. Mukesh Ambani’s local telecom behemoth Reliance Jio has always supported auctions as a means of ensuring competition justice.

The government of India has presented a draft bill expressing its desire for a licensing model for allocating spectrum to satellite internet companies, which is a significant development for satellite broadband services in the country. Elon Musk’s Starlink and other businesses see this ruling as a victory since it permits them to avoid the bidding procedure that they had been fighting against.

The new telecommunications bill seeks to update the current legislation by reviving the industry’s regulatory structure and replacing the antiquated Indian Telegraph Act. Additionally, if necessary for reasons of national security, the bill gives the Indian government the power to limit or outright prohibit the use of communication devices from specific nations.

Reliance Jio has been Demanding Auctions for Satellite Airwaves

Elon Musk’s company Starlink has successfully lobbied against any auctions, as India has proposed a licensing method for assigning spectrum for satellite communication internet services and exempts companies from having to bid for it.

The idea was part of a recently proposed draft bill for the industry of telecommunications, which aims to replace the Indian Telegraph Act, which has been in effect for 138 years. On Monday, the bill was presented to parliament for approval.

Although the move would be welcomed by Starlink and its international counterparts like Amazon’s Project Kuiper and the British government-backed OneWeb, it is a blow to Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who is in charge of the Indian telecom behemoth Reliance Jio.  

Reliance Jio, however, thinks that to level the playing field between established telecom companies and foreign satellite providers who might provide voice and data services, an auction is required.

Worldwide Satellite Internet Service Provider

“Transfers, television, Headend in the Sky, Digital Satellite News Gathering, Very Small Aperture Terminal, Global Mobile Personal by Satellites, are among the “certain services” listed in the bill that will be allocated spectrum.

According to a June Reuters story, foreign companies have been pressing for a licensing strategy because they fear that India’s unique auction would encourage other countries to follow suit, driving up costs and investments.

Foreign businesses are worried that an Indian auction could create a precedent that other countries would follow, driving up costs and investments, according to Reuters. 

The experts in the field have endorsed the suggested licensing strategy. “This realistic strategy is set to accelerate the implementation of satellite services more efficiently by avoiding traditional auctions,” said Anil Prakash, Director General of SIA-India, a body that represents the satellite industry.

Over the next 10 years, it is anticipated that the global market for broadband satellite services will expand significantly. Deloitte projects that by 2030, the Indian market for satellite broadband services will have grown to $1.9 billion, with an annual growth rate of 36%.

The telecommunications bill that was passed on Monday gives the Indian government the power to prohibit or suspend the use of communication devices from particular nations due to national security concerns, in line with the allowing approach for spectrum allocation.

The potential impact of the suggested modifications in India’s telecom sector on global communication policies and practices is likely to draw interest from industry stakeholders worldwide.

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