OneWeb, Backed by Bharti, Requests Extension for Providing Network Details

OneWeb, supported by the Bharti group, has asked for additional time to submit security-related network details required for obtaining land mobility authorization under its satellite-based broadband services license. Following its recent merger with France’s Eutelsat, OneWeb conveyed to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it needs more time to furnish the necessary network details.

An official familiar with the matter stated, “They have sought additional time to furnish the desired information. Once the information is received, their application for land mobility will be taken forward by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC).”


Queries directed to Bharti OneWeb went unanswered as of the time of reporting.

In the meantime, the satellite arm of Reliance Jio, which has also applied for land mobility authorization, has submitted the required details, which are currently under analysis by the IMC. The Cabinet Secretariat is reported to have provided comments on Jio’s satellite mobility application.

For satellite mobility services, security agencies need insights into network infrastructure details for interception and other necessities. Given that most constellations operate globally, safeguarding information around border and security areas becomes crucial.

The DoT has issued licenses for providing global mobile personal communication by satellite services (GMPCS) to both Jio Satellite and OneWeb. However, it was clarified during the issuance of letters of intent that clearance was granted only for offering fixed satellite broadband services. To obtain land mobility authorization, companies must seek security clearance from the IMC.

The Intelligence Bureau is believed to have provided comments on the security requirements for providing land mobility.

Recently, OneWeb became the first entity in India to receive regulatory approvals from space regulator IN-SPACe to launch commercial broadband services in the country. While OneWeb secured a GMPCS license, the launch of commercial services depends on decisions regarding spectrum allocation.

The DoT is awaiting recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), with the regulator set to provide input after a new chairman assumes charge.

The competitive landscape in the emerging satellite communication market in India is intensifying, attracting players such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon, OneWeb, and Reliance Jio’s satcom venture. According to an EY-ISpA report, India’s space economy is anticipated to reach $13 billion by 2025, growing at a compounded annual rate of 6%. The regulator IN-SPACe envisions a significant space boom in India, projecting the country’s space economy to reach $44 billion by 2033.

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