Industry says Isro’s monopoly fuelling satellite shortages

Nov 30 2012, 03:48 IST
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SummaryThe country’s VSAT, teleport and DTH companies, which use satellite-based communication systems, have questioned the “unrealistic” target and the intention of the department of space and the Indian Space Research Organisation to meet the steep shortfall in satellite capacity through foreign operators.

or multiple transponders is under deliberation, the matter related to processing the application for a full satellite cannot be viewed in isolation,” an Isro official said.

Similarly, both the industry bodies – VSAT Service Providers Association and the DTH Operators Association – have also been writing to the DoS and Isro asking for an ‘open sky policy’ and the freedom to engage the services of any foreign satellite company without the lengthy and time-consuming bureaucratic process. As reported by FE recently, even the broadcast and telecom sector regulator has written to Isro batting for an open sky policy in order to help the growth of the sector, which is facing acute spectrum shortage. The six private DTH operators require around 40-45 Ku-band transponders over the next five to seven years to meet the growing demand. On the licensing side, the I&B ministry has already granted permission to over 840 TV channels for uplinking and downlinking.

However, Isro’s plans include launching 14 communication satellites by 2017, including high-power S-band satellites for mobile communications and a new-generation geo-imaging satellite, aimed at increasing the transponder capacity and introducing new-generation broadband VSAT systems and Ka-band systems.

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