GSAT-11 satellite to boost Internet connectivity in North East: Manoj Sinha

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that the GSAT-11 satellite launch would help in providing high-speed Internet connectivity in country’s North Eastern states and hilly regions, and would give a boost to the ambitious BharatNet initiative.

“This (satellite launch) is a revolutionary step in the field of communications. Primarily, BharatNet program will get a big boost in North East and hilly regions, with high-speed data would be made available,” Sinha said.

Early Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has launched a multi-band communication satellite, weighing about 5,854 kilograms from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

“Since the time we opened Ka band, a good data speed will be readily available with the help of this satellite,” Sinha added.

India’s heaviest satellite, GSAT-11 comes with 32 transponders in the Ku band and eight in the Ka band.

The high-throughput satellite (HTS) together with two smaller HTS satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 launched earlier, would offer satellite-based broadband services in rural and remote regions and would use the efficient Ka frequency band.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), under the phase-II of the BharatNet program, aims to connect as many as 6,000 gram panchayats or village blocks in North East and J&K having unfriendly terrain with satellite-based bandwidth.

“With most of the work already done, we will complete the BharatNet by March 2019 deadline,” the minister said.

The department has also sought a go-ahead from the Ravi Shankar Prasad-headed Law ministry to allow inflight-connectivity (IFC) services which it plans to notify sometime soon.

“We are expecting to get a nod (on IFC) from the Law ministry in a week or 10 days,” Sinha added.

The department has already got a go-ahead from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommendations in January this year which suggested the use of INSAT (Indian Satellite System) or foreign satellites outside INSAT systems in the Indian airspace.