Source – The Hindu)


  • Over the last few months, there has been a sudden rise in the interest in satellite communications in our country. Recently, some of the telcos asked for a share in the 27.5 GHz – 29.5 GHz frequency, which universally is earmarked for Space communications (Spacecom).
  • Space communication is an electronic and digital communication package placed in an orbit. Its prime goal is to initiate or assist through space. It has made a wider contribution to the pattern of international communication.
  • Global companies are striving to build, develop and deploy “mega-constellations” of hundreds or thousands of satellites to bring affordable high-speed internet services to businesses, governments, schools, colleges and individuals.
  • Realizing the potential of spacecom, the government of India has recently released a Draft spacecom policy, However, despite India’s commendable achievements in the space sector, growth has been at snail’s pace.

Advantages of SpaceCom-

Unhindered Connectivity:

  • Through satellite transmission, coverage over geographical and terrain areas is quite large mainly for scantily populated areas.
  • Wireless and mobile communication applications can be fluently established by satellite communication independent of location.

Cost Advantage:

  • Satellite broadband delivers instantaneous service. To girder households, commercial formation, buildings including machine to machine and IoT, satellite broadband does not require laying cable.
  • According to a report titled Space India 2.0, the cost to cover one sq km from space varies between $1.5 and $6, vis-a-vis $3,000 to $30,000 vital by ground infrastructure to cover the same area.

Phenomenal Growth in Allied Sector:

  • It is used in a wide dimension of applications such as global mobile communication, private business networks, Long-distance telephone transmission, weather forecasting, radio/TV signal broadcasting, gathering intelligence in the military, navigation of ships and air crafts, connecting remote areas, television distribution and many more technological dimensions.

Easy to Deploy:

  • During worst conditions, each Earth Station may be eliminated relatively quickly from a location and reinstalled somewhere else.

Associated Challenges-

  • Conventional Technology: The Indian satellites are still operating the conventional satellites despite the proliferation of high throughput satellites globally. The use of conventional satellite technology in India makes it impracticable for satellite broadband to be commercially viable.
  • Lack of Indignation: There is a lack of domestic involvement for building space infrastructure despite the Make in India Mission.
  • Overburdened ISRO: ISRO  is highly burdened by its regular operations such as the launch of satellites, construction, and manufacturing of launching vehicles etc which are becoming obstacles in ISRO’s way for working in new projects.
  • Low Profile: As per ISRO studies, India presently holds a mere 3 percent share in the $360-billion global space market. Satellite broadband services in India remain solely for the B2B sector with market size of roughly $100 million.

Way Forward-

  • Privatization: Advanced space-faring nations have denationalized most of space com blocks in the value chain. 
    • SpaceCom experts supposed that with the upcoming ‘Open Space’, satellite broadband services can be a $500 million-plus near-term market occasionally.
    • Thus, there is a need for building systems to help nurture and garden the industry and create a voluminous ecosystem.
  • Preventing the Misuse of Technologies: The major cause of concern is to make sure that this high precedent technology would not go in the wrong hands. 
    • The government should make adequate laws regarding the operation of private players in both the commercial as well as the strategic part of the space sector in the country so that technology can’t be misutilized.
  • Judicious Allocation of Orbital Resources: The allocation of Indian orbital resources would have to be tackled in a reasonable and non-arbitrary manner and articulated by the jurisprudence under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. India needs to have advantageous regulations and policies along with sufficient spectrum allocation, ease of doing business, dropping capacity prices, etc.
  • Single Window Clearance System: There is a need to amalgamate the powers and functions of stakeholder ministries into a single body. 
    • This would authorize and legitimize all applications for deploying and operating Spacecom assets and provide assurances for a transparent, fair, non-arbitrary, predictable and time abound adjudication.


  • With the right policy approach and intervention, Spacecom has a huge scope to contribute a sizable chunk to the GDP growth, with the potential to unfastened floodgates for greater innovation, R&D, employment, deployment,  investment, and connectivity.

-Khyati Khare

Download Plutus IAS Daily Current Affairs of 6 July 2021

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