Hughes Communications India (HCI) has launched India’s first commercial high-speed broadband satellite (HTS) service. Hughes will provide HTS broadband connectivity using the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) satellites GSAT-11 and GSAT-29.
With its inherent benefits and ubiquitous nature, the new HTS service will play a key role in extending broadband connectivity to the most remote, otherwise hard-to-reach locations, creating economic opportunities for economic recovery,” said S. Somanath.
Hughes’ new service should be able to deliver high-speed Internet to remote locations and enable solutions such as Wi-Fi hotspots for community Internet access, backhaul to extend cellular network penetration and Internet for small businesses.
Benefits of Hughes in a broader perspective
Hughes will deliver a new broadband service that bridges connectivity gaps, improves network performance and supports high bandwidth demands. It aims to support government organizations, financial firms, mobile operators, mining and energy companies, and other businesses large and small, and help connect India to an unlimited future, according to Partho Banerjee, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCI.
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has the same facility as Starlink. It uses a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to offer high-speed satellite cyberspace. Starlink had plans to expand its business to India. It had even registered a business entity in India before encountering regulatory hurdles. It’s unclear if Hughes’ dual-satellite solution will offer internet connections as fast as Starlink, which offers average speeds of around 90Mbps in regions where it’s available.
Hughes Communications India, a joint venture between US-based Hughes Network Systems and Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel, has announced the launch of its first High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband internet service in the country, bringing satellite internet to remote communities Locations across India and India will utilize the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Geosynchronous Satellite (GSAT)-11 and GSAT-29 satellites to provide the service.
Speaking to Mint, Shivaji Chatterjee, senior vice president of Hughes Communications India, said the Hughes service can offer up to 100Mbps internet connection bandwidth. On March 22, Chatterjee Mint said in an interview that the service should offer bandwidths between 2 and 10 MBit/s.
He also confirmed that Hughes’ service has been trialled over the past year in select areas such as Jammu, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, where difficult terrain often results in a lack of physical, land-based connectivity. Today’s launch expands Hughes HTS service across India.
HTS refers to satellite connectivity, which offers higher bandwidth, which in turn increases the amount of data that could be transmitted between the satellite and the ground station. Typical satellite connectivity is characterized by low bandwidth as well as high connectivity latency – the time between a data set to be transmitted between transmitter and receiver. The only motto of this step is to stimulate the economy. India needs to focus more on technology-based advances. This increases connectivity and makes general work easier.
Hughes’ HTS satellites aim to improve connectivity, bringing satellite Internet connections closer to the standard of terrestrial Internet networks.
Nishant Bansal, senior research manager for telecoms, Asia-Pacific, at market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), said the market for satellite broadband is still limited even in industrial applications and many operators have the capacity on paper to support connections from up to to provide 100 Mbps of bandwidth, their usage markets do not require such large bandwidths.
Explaining how Hughes’ HTS network works now, Chatterjee said their previous strategies were limited to speeds between 256 kbps and 2 Mbps and delivered about 4GB of data per month.” Bansal added that there have been talks within the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to approve the 26GHz band for use of satellite links, which could lead to more companies getting into satellite internet.
While JIO uses Hughes service for 4G backhaul to offer remote site services for its terrestrial telecom network, SBI uses Hughes service for connectivity in remote bank branches and ATMs. In 2018, ISRO launched GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 to offer higher bandwidth satellite connectivity to Indian corporate customers. Sivan said in a press conference that the satellite is capable of offering peak data bandwidth of 14 Gbps over satellite networks.
While the GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites carry transponders (instruments that transmit data from satellites) in both Ku- and Ka-band, the Hughes HTS service will only use Ku-band for high-bandwidth data transmissions . Chatterjee confirmed that Hughes had applied to India’s space technology authority for nodes, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), to use higher Ka-band frequencies.
However, Chatterjee added that Ka-band frequencies are subject to greater interference from obstacles such as rain and forest cover, which could be obstacles that the eventual development of satellite internet technology will address. However, Chatterjee commented that Ka-band frequencies are more disrupted by obstacles such as rain and forest cover, which may be hurdles that the eventual development of satellite internet technology will attempt to solve.