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ISRO’s NSIL to launch their first CommSat in 2022

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the newly created commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will put together its first demand-based communication satellite for the satellite-based DTH television services provider, Tata Sky.

The satellite will be owned and operated by NSIL, which will also be the intermediary agency between ISRO, Arianespace and Tata Sky.

NSIL, which has been created to commercialize research work and capabilities of the ISRO, is looking to emerge as an Indian communications satellite operator by taking over ISRO satellites to provide DTH and broadband services to customers on demand.

In March this year, the officials of NSIL – incorporated in 2019 – had stated that two deals were in the pipeline with a DTH operator and a broadband service provider in India.

NSIL officials had said on March 12 that it will take over two communication satellites to be launched by ISRO and is in talks with the space department to take over ISRO’s fleet of communication satellites. “Shortly, NSIL will finalise requirements for new satellites in consultation with various users and start procuring, owning, launching and providing services, primarily in the communication sector. We are also in an advanced stage of discussion with DoS to take ownership of two new communication satellites,” NSIL Chairman and MD, G Narayanan, stated.

The move is a shift from existing policy in which transponders on communication satellites are leased to customers, such as DTH service providers, through ISRO’s existing controversial commercial arm Antrix Corporation which has now started taking a back seat. Antrix Corporation has previously courted controversies over deals in which satellites were dedicated to provide communication services for companies like the Bengaluru startup, Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd. SatNews

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