Eutelsat OneWeb Receives Market Access in India
Eutelsat OneWeb is clear to launch commercial satellite broadband in India after receiving regulatory approval. India’s space regulatory agency, IN-SPACe, granted subsidiary OneWeb India market access, the company announced Tuesday. OneWeb India is the first organization to be granted this authorization.
However, Eutelsat OneWeb still needs to receive spectrum allocation from the government before it can launch service. OneWeb India already has licenses from the Department of Telecommunications and in principle approval to establish and operate two gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Eutelsat OneWeb has a strong connection to India through Sunil Bharti Mittal, who invested in OneWeb through his company Bharti Enterprises before the merger with Eutelsat. Post-Eutelsat merger, Mittal is vice president of the board of Eutelsat Group. He is also chairman of Airtel, India’s second largest mobile network operator.
“This will be a critical step forward to meet India’s ambition of providing internet connectivity for all and will enable the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India. Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorization to launch commercial services,” Mittal commented.
Competing Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation Starlink does not yet have market access in India, but there are reports that approval could come soon.