Provision of Satellite Solutions by Foreign Satellite Operators in India – Regulatory Framework

Domestic Services (2)

India’s present regulatory atmosphere basically needs providers of Indian domestic solutions (i.e., up linked from India, with intended coverage of India) such as Direct to Dwelling (“”DTH””) and VSAT solutions to use Indian National Satellite Technique (“”INSAT””) satellites. India is a fairly mature satellite marketplace, with its personal domestic satellite operator, Indian Space Study Organization (“”ISRO””), giving geostationary satellite solutions given that 1982. ISRO established in 1969 manufactures and effectively launches satellites, as INSAT. Till the early 1990s, the Indian satellite marketplace was dominated by INSAT and by Intelsat, which was then an international treaty organization, a single of whose signatory was the then Government of India (“”GoI””) owned telephony carrier, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Restricted.

The crucial element of DTH and VSAT solutions is satellite capacity and Ku-band is the frequency of option for all DTH and VSAT operators. Below India’s present regulatory regime, any business wishing to supply subscription primarily based tv solutions to clients in India need to uplink from Indian territory, and additional need to use either an Indian satellite, or a satellite method authorized by the Indian Division of Space (“”DoS””). Many VSAT operators are also really keen to commence working with Ku-band to reduced gear fees by way of the use of smaller sized dishes. Some independent market analysts forecast that the demand from these two marketplace segments for Ku-band will outstrip the demand for C-band inside the subsequent two – three years. VSAT operators are also essential to use INSAT satellite for national connectivity or a satellite method authorized by DoS, even though the preference is often provided to INSAT satellites.

Web Service Providers are nevertheless authorized to set up international gateways straight working with C and Ku-band (and variant thereof) transponders in foreign satellites for international connectivity, i.e., without the need of any intervention by ISRO. Similarly, an International Lengthy Distance service provider is permitted to offer you all varieties of bearer solutions from an integrated platform working with foreign satellites for provision of international voice, information, fax, video and multi-media tele-solutions. The approval course of action for working with a non Indian satellite or a foreign satellite by a DTH service provider requires DoS, the Wireless Organizing &amp Coordination Wing of the Division of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Facts &amp Broadcasting. Preference is often provided to INSAT satellites, operated by ISRO.

In situations exactly where INSAT does not have adequate in-orbit capacity obtainable for any distinct service, the lease of foreign satellite capacity is canalized by way of ISRO. Approval when granted is generally on a quick term basis till INSAT is capable to launch future extra capacity. Presently, various leases have been signed with foreign satellite operators by ISRO to cover shortfalls in transponder capacity which includes leases with Thailand’s Thaicom for C-band capacity and with New Skies and SES Americom for Ku-band capacity. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been regularly recommending for an ‘Open Sky’ policy for all satellite customers. Nevertheless, this recommendation has so far not been accepted by GoI and it is unlikely that the very same would be viewed as by GoI in the close to future.

Nevertheless, this closed regulatory regime severely limits the potential of foreign satellite operators to offer you Ku-band solutions to clients up linking from inside India. In view of the foregoing and from a regulatory viewpoint, presently the only operator capable of supplying Ku-band capacity in India for DTH or VSAT use is ISRO/INSAT. Clearly, INSAT does not have adequate capacity to satisfy the existing and future demand of the Indian marketplace. Although, ISRO has received approval to start constructing extra satellites to supply expansion capacity, but these will not be obtainable for one more two-three years. According to a Report ready by Loft Communications for GVF and CASBAA, INSAT C-band capacity is practically totally leased, with foreign operators giving needed extra bandwidth.

The Report states that the total provide of Ku-band capacity is restricted to 36 transponders, assuming profitable launch of proposed INSAT series satellites and its Ku-band supplying is totally committed on launch with no extra development chance for clients and no important capacity obtainable for VSAT clients. With various DTH players in the Indian marketplace which includes the state broadcaster Doordarshan, Space Television (Tata Sky), Sun Television, Reliance, Bharti, Essar, Videocon elevated VSAT targeted traffic elevated channels offerings by current DTH operators, the gap involving the obtainable bandwidth capacity and essential capacity is escalating swiftly. Consequently, unless extra Indian satellite systems are established in India or an Open Sky policy is introduced in India, possible DTH firms will have no option but to either curtail their operations or postpone them till such time as adequate capacity is obtainable. This post is introductory to the series of articles on provision of foreign satellite solutions in India. My subsequent post on the topic will go over probable entry techniques for foreign firms and satellite operators in India.

Seema Jhingan Regions of Practice: Infrastructure, Telecommunications, Energy, Mergers/Acquisition, Software program/Facts Technologies, Business enterprise Method Outsourcing, Media &amp Entertainment, Private Equity and Venture Capital, Basic Corporate and Industrial, International Arbitration. Skilled Summary: Seema Jhingan’s practice spans more than fourteen years in the course of which she has acquired substantial knowledge in representing developers, sponsors/lenders, venture capital investors, international corporations, monetary institutions, and other strategic investors involved in the establishment, improvement and financing of key infrastructure and IT projects in India.

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