Hughes-ISRO satellite internet service

Hughes Communications India (HCI) and ISRO has jointly launched India’s first high-throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service.

Key facts

  • HCI – a joint venture company of US-based Hughes Network Systems and Indian telecom operator Bharati Airtel – launched the first high throughput satellite broadband internet service in India.
  • This service would provide satellite internet to remote parts of India by using ISRO’s GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites.
  • ISRO launched the GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 in 2018 to provide higher bandwidth satellite connectivity to Indian clients in the space enterprise. The GSAT-11 is capable of providing up to 14 Gbps through satellite network.
  • The newly launched HTS broadband service aims to provide high-speed broadband in regions that are inaccessible for terrestrial networks.
  • For the past one year, this high-speed internet service was tested in several regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, which lack terrestrial connectivity because of challenges posed by terrains.
  • The newly launched satellite internet service is capable of providing internet connectivity bandwidth of up to 100 Mbps – about 2GB data per day.
  • It supports services such as Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access, SD-WAN solutions, backhaul to extend mobile network reach and satellite internet for small businesses.
  • The application of this satellite connectivity is currently limited to fringe markets such as remote locations.
  • India currently does not have the market for very high bandwidth satellite internet in such regions and high bandwidth internet are already served by terrestrial network in other places that are having high demands for internet services.
  • The Hughes’ HTS service already has clients like Reliance Jio, State Bank of India and others.
  • Jio utilizes Hughes’ service for 4G backhaul to provide services to remote locations for its terrestrial telecom networks.
  • SBI uses this satellite internet service for providing connectivity to remote bank branches and automated teller machine (ATM) outlets.

High-throughput satellite

High-throughput satellite (HTS) is a satellite connectivity that provides higher bandwidth, which increases the amount of data that can be transferred between a satellite and a ground station. A conventional satellite connectivity has low bandwidth and high latency of connectivity – time taken to transfer data between a sender and receiver. The HTS seeks to address this issue.

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