Hughes Communications India (HCI) has launched India’s first commercial high-throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service. Hughes will provide the HTS broadband using the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites.
“With the new HTS capabilities powered by ISRO satellites, we are confident that HCI will continue to deliver excellent quality satellite broadband services and further enhance the connectivity experience that accelerates India’s digital transformation. With its inherent advantages and ubiquitous nature, the new HTS service will play a pivotal role in extending broadband connectivity to the remotest locations, difficult to reach otherwise, and create economic opportunities to boost the local economy,” said S Somanath, ISRO Chairman, in a Hughes press statement.
The new service should be able to provide high-speed internet to remote locations and enable solutions like Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access, backhaul to extend mobile network reach and satellite internet for small businesses.
“Available countrywide, HTS broadband from Hughes underscores our long-standing commitment to bridging the digital divide, delivering multi-megabit high-speed broadband at affordable rates. This new broadband service will address connectivity gaps, improve network performance, and support the high bandwidth requirements of government organisations, financial companies, cellular operators, mining and energy companies, among other businesses, large and small, helping to connect India to a limitless future,” said Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCI, in the press statement.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX offers a similar service with Starlink, which uses a constellation of low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide high-speed satellite internet connectivity. Starlink had plans to expand its business to India and even registered a business unit in India before it hit regulatory roadblocks. It is unclear whether Hughes’ two-satellite solution will offer internet connectivity as fast as Starlink, which offers median speeds of around 90 Mbps in the regions where it is available.