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Amazon to apply for satellite communication license in India

Amazon has been actively working on this strategic initiative for almost two years

FILE PHOTO: Amazon’s description of Project Kuiper is displayed on a screen at CES 2023 at Venetian Expo on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

AMAZON is in the final stage of applying for an operating license for its satellite communication (satcom) service, Project Kuiper, in India, reported the Mint.

It will provide ‘fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world,’ with a constellation of more than 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).

This move follows in the footsteps of Elon Musk’s Starlink, signaling a growing competition in the satellite communications industry in the country.

Sources close to the matter have revealed that Amazon is in advanced discussions with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to address potential challenges before formally applying for the license.

“Amazon plans to lodge the license application shortly and is hopeful of securing approval,” a source told the media outlet.

The issuance of the license would empower companies to offer satellite-based internet services, benefiting sectors such as maritime and aviation communications.

An Amazon spokesperson emphasised the company’s commitment to collaborating with the Indian government and local authorities to address connectivity gaps nationwide.

In the race for satellite internet dominance, competitors like Starlink and OneWeb, supported by Bharti Enterprises, have already entered the sector.

Additionally, Jio Satellite Communications, the satellite broadband subsidiary of Reliance Jio, obtained its license last year.

According to the report, Amazon has been actively progressing towards this strategic move for nearly two years.

Leveraging its extensive enterprise network, particularly through Amazon Web Services, the company aims to establish a significant presence in this rapidly growing market.

Currently, the sector is eagerly anticipating a clear resolution regarding the allocation of satellite spectrum.

While some support administrative allocation, others, such as Reliance Jio, are pushing for an auction-based approach.

This decision will significantly impact the competitive landscape within India’s satellite communications industry.

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