Bharti Airtel to start commercial satellite broadband internet service next month

Bharti Airtel says that its satellite broadband service will be ready for commercial deployment in November. The company’s Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal made the announcement on October 27 during an India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 event. The telecommunication giant is collaborating with OneWeb to launch satellite broadband service in India and abroad.

Mr. Mittal said that Airtel has already been connecting rural areas with its satellite service and now is available for all parts of the country.

Connected wirelessly with the satellite constellation, satellite communication services are better suited to service in those areas where traditional cellular and FTTH networks are not available. Airtel says that its service will connect remote and rural parts of India starting from November 2023.

“OneWeb constellation is ready to serve the globe and is ready to serve the country. Anybody, anywhere in the country, in remote parts or difficult areas, wherever they are located can be connected from next month,” said Mr. Mittal.

Also read: India develops the world’s thinnest fiber cable at 160-micron

Bharti Airtel to provide satellite internet in India with OneWeb

OneWeb has the largest share of Airtel- 21.2%. Currently, it’s merged with Eutelsat and operates as Eutelsat OneWeb and is headquartered in London, UK. The company maintains that it has 618 satellites in its constellations that can provide broadband internet everywhere around the world.

Airtel’s satellite internet launch announcement came the same day Jio made its own. Read in detail: Jio is ready with its satellite internet in India.

Starlink satellite constellation

But in contrast to Jio, Airtel is using low-Earth orbit satellites for its services. This enables the telco to provide high-speed internet service with low latency. That is because, unlike MEO satellites, the LEO constellation orbits at a shorter distance from the Earth, just between 250 to 2,000 km above the Earth.

Airtel satellite internet launch date

It’s announced that Airtel satellite internet will launch in November 2023 as shared by the company Chiar Mr. Mittal. However, more concrete details are yet to emerge. When we have the fixed date, we will update it here.

Jio vs. SpaceX vs. Airtel (OneWeb)

But to its credit, MEO can offer wider coverage with fewer satellites. Both technologies have their own pros and cons. But one thing is each will have more than the domestic competitor. SpaceX, the US company headed by billionaire Elon Musk is also ambitious with its satellite internet service and is currently seeking approval from Indian authorities. And as per reports, it’s more than likely to get the approval soon.

With the current developments, it seems that India will become a hub for commercial satellite broadband services in the near future.

Leave a Comment