Tata group satellite services firm Nelco has withdrawn application for offering personal satellite communication services to consumers in the country and plans to apply for a new licence under New Space Policy, a top company official has said.
Nelco has withdrawn the application for Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence, which it had earlier submitted to the department of telecommunications (DoT). The company plans to apply for a relevant permit after going through the contours of the New Space Policy. “The company has all licences required to provide all satellite services permissible in the country and the company will apply for relevant permit after going through the contours of the New Space Policy and outcome of consultation paper floated by telecom regulator Trai,” Nelco, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer PJ Nath told PTI on Wednesday.
The GMPCS licence at present allows licence holders to provide satellite phone services in India. “We at Nelco are looking to expand satcom in a big way. We have got a very ambitious plan for entire satcom services. We want to take judicious calls based on the changing and regulatory environment,” Nath said. Nath further said that the company is getting into new segments as the regulation is opening. “We will also get into the consumer market where it has not been possible to go with satellite communication because of technical and other issues. With the New Space Policy coming, we will also get there. We are expanding our business,” Nath said.
The Indian Space Policy 2023, approved by the cabinet last week seeks to institutionalise private sector participation in the space sector, with ISRO focusing on research and development of advanced space technologies. Nelco at present provides in-flight and maritime services through satellite as well as satellite-based communication to enterprise customers through VSAT and other licences. “DoT has given clarification that with our VSAT licence we can address land mobility on cars, buses etc. Technically in any market that we want to address today, we can do that with a current license,” he said.
Nath said that the New Space Policy has been announced and details of the policy are expected to come out within a week. “This is going to be completely a game changer. Lot of regulation will be eased out,” Nath said. He said there is a spectrum consultation paper from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which may lead to some changes in the satellite sector. “We are looking at that aspect and then apply for permits that will be required,” Nath said.