India activates satellite-based Internet service on Siachen Glacier


First published September 19, 2022 at 8:20 am IST

There was a time when a communications link on the world’s highest battlefield, the Siachen Glacier, was unthinkable. Today, that barrier has been overcome with the Indian Army activating the satellite-based internet system at over 19,000 feet.

The Indian Army’s Fire & Fury Corps provided an update on the performance of the Siachen beacons on Sunday, saying “Always Through,” the satellite-based internet service deployed on the Siachen Glacier at 19,061 feet, the world’s highest battlefield, from the Siachen signaling devices has been activated.

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Reacting to the development, a former Indian Army worker said on Twitter: “I remember my days there. We used to have a satellite phone at a company location. And we could talk at home once a day for an exorbitant price. Internet was a dream back then. However, the internet is a double-edged weapon these days! Much caution would be required.’

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It should be noted that the Siachen Glacier is of strategic importance for the Indian Army to protect its borders and sovereignty amid the presence of both adversaries – China and Pakistan – in the region.

Satellite based internet service

The service is wireless internet broadcast by satellites orbiting the earth. It differs from land-based Internet services such as cable or DSL, which transmit data over cable.

It is useful in places where access quality is unreliable or poor, or in places where terrestrial internet access is not available.

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How does the satellite-based Internet work?

It uses radio waves to transmit the internet from an ISP hub to the satellite dish connected to a modem. No cables or other terrestrial infrastructure is required at the end-user access point.

It’s like satellite direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting services.

Siachen Glacier

Known as the highest battlefield in the world, Siachen is located in the eastern Karakorum of the Himalayan mountains. Every day the soldiers brave the extreme and inhospitable weather conditions here. In 1984, after Operation Meghdoot, the Indian Army took strategic control of the glacier.

In a further development, the Indian Army has invited the Indian Defense Industry to offer critical defense equipment for contingency procurement, keeping in mind its commitment to fight future wars with indigenous solutions.

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The process is based on condensed timelines, with the procurement window open for Indian industry for six months and the selected industry expected to deliver the equipment within a year of contract signature. The force further added that the proposals will deploy drones, counter-drones, loiter munitions, weapons, missiles, optical and communications systems, special vehicles, engineering equipment and alternative energy resources.

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Last updated September 19, 2022 8:20 AM IST

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