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IAFI writes to ISRO Chief on opening Indian space sector to private industry

“With reference to the draft Spacecom policy (Space Based Communication Policy of India- 2021) dated Oct 22, 2021:

In this connection, we recall the words of the Hon’ble PM in his speech delivered while inaugurating ISPA on 11 October 20211 regarding boosting private participation in Space sector activities, which inter-alia, states that: “there should be no restrictions on Indian talent, whether it is in the public sector or in the private sector”.

In this regard, we would also like to bring to your attention various provisions regarding “Strengthening Satellite Communication Technologies in India”, under Connect India mission of National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP)-2018 notified by the DoT, Government of India in Oct’2018:

• Optimize Satellite communications technologies which includes new Spectrum bands and rationalization of charges

• Reviewing SATCOM policy for communication services, along with Department of Space, to create a flexible, technology-neutral and competitive regime, keeping in view international developments and social and economic needs of the country

• Develop an ecosystem for satellite communications in India – streamlining administrative process for various clearance & permissions, Promoting local manufacturing, Infrastructure development and participation of private players, with due regard to national security and sovereignty

In view of these provisions under the NDCP-2018 and the announcement in May’2020 which aims at structural reforms by policy simplification, private participation, bringing in transparency & ease of doing business, IAFI has been working with various Industry stakeholders and satellite experts in the country and around the world.

Towards this end, we also hosted a virtual industry dialogue on this subject on 10th September 2020, which was addressed by yourself as well as Dr. R S Sharma, IAS, the then Chairman of TRAI, among other dignitaries and Space sector experts.

In this connection, I am pleased to share the following 4 key recommendations on the opening of the Indian space sector to the private industry for your kind consideration as follows:

1. Quick and easy licensing of new Indian & foreign satellites for early implementation of the announced policy to encourage both private domestic as well as foreign investment.

2. Additional Regulatory changes needed for quick and easy licensing of new satellite earth stations, VSATs and satellite mobile terminals in the Satcom policy to meet the connectivity needs.

3. Adopt global/regional harmonized spectrum and regulations for all satellites to maximize spectrum availability for all satellite communications.

4. Development of a suitable regulatory framework for timely deployment of NGSO systems in Ku and Ka spectrum bands.

Details of these recommendations

These recommendations, if implemented regarding overall policy and regulatory framework for satellite communications in India and creating enabling environment for private sector participation, will derive the maximum advantage from the available & developing satellite communication technologies, leading to a win-win solution for all stakeholders including the Government, the Industry and the consumer. An early implementation of these recommendations will hugely benefit the Indian economy leading to tremendous economic growth and creation of jobs.

We, the ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) are a registered non-profit and non-political industry association registered under the Cooperative Societies Act in India. IAFI has been recognized by the ITU as an international/ regional Telecommunications organization and has been granted the sector Membership of the ITU Development Bureau (ITU-D) and ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU-T).”
CT Bureau

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