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AUGUST 2021/02
Unified voice for Satellite Communication Industry in India

Dear Patrons,

The SIA-India newsletter dated 18 August 2021 had certain errors whereby quotes by eminent speakers had been mis-attributed. The errors were inadvertent and are deeply regretted. With due apologies to Mr. Gautam Sharma [Inmarsat] and Mr. Cristian Gomez [Viasat] we are issuing the corrected newsletter.

SIA-India's first ever 'Space Conference': 'SatCom Emerging Trends-Post Reform Era'. The virtual conference was held on 4th & 5th of August, 2021. The conference was very well attended by more than 400+ delegates from 20 countries over two days from various sectors viz., Satellite operators, systems integrators, manufacturers, application solutions providers. Regulators, Policymakers, Lawyers, academia; from space start-ups and SMEs to hottest Satellite/Space companies have attended the two day sessions. 48 distinguished speakers and professionals from 12 countries addressed topics of importance for the sector.

The two day conference deliberated upon some of key considerations for designing of a conducive 'Regulatory Framework' such as:

  • Efficient spectrum allocation for Satcom,
  • Deregulating/liberalizing Indian satellite systems,
  • New regulations for NGSO services,
  • Single window licensing,
  • IPR policy to boost innovation,
  • FDI through automatic route,
  • Effective offset policy implementation,
  • Law on implementing international treaties,
  • Partnerships rules with foreign operators
  • Open space policy.
Satcom is going to be a relevant part of Dr. Sarabhai mission of taking high and cutting edge technologies to the end user, connect the unconnected, especially in rural India where nearly 57% are unconnected. "Spectrum regulation as well as the amount of funding needed would be a tremendous task for the GOI. Although solutions are many but implementation of those solutions in the context of national security and geo-political issues is critical" Dr. AS Kiran Kumar Former Chairman ISRO & Secretary, Department of Space.
Mr. R. Umamaheshwaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO said "Space has tremendous potential to play supplementary and complimentary role in India. Major demand is going to come from application sector, India has a notable contribution in the downstream application sector, around 92% business come from applications, and with 5G on its way, a lot of new apps will get added to our daily lives"
Speaking at the conference Mr. Nilesh M Desai, Director, Space Application Centre, ISRO said "ISRO has successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication recently for the first time. A number of key technologies were developed indigenously to accomplish this major feat, which included the use of indigenously developed NAVIC receiver for time synchronization. The technology uses quantum-key-encrypted signal which is a major milestone achievement for secured satellite data communication. Private players must take up the gamut and jump into this frontier"
Ms. Deepa Tyagi Sr. DDG, Telecommunications Engineering Centre, Department of Telecom in a special address mentioned about the upcoming TEC standard for Non-geostationary (NGSO) satellites which would be up for stakeholder consultation soon.
Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri President -Satcom Industry Association (India) stressed "SatCom proliferation will have a major impact on economy and employment in India. With the right and timely impetus, India has a very real chance to reach 10% of the USD 50 Bn market share from the current 2% in the to in the global market in under a decade"
"The potential of satellite services and applications now extends to frontiers with the emerging innovations like HTS, flexible payloads, adoption of high frequency bands, RLVs, low latency LEO technology etc." Mr. K Rathnakara, Director -Satcom PO, ISRO-HQ
Mr. Bashir Patel Sr. Regional Advisor, INMARSAT and Coordinator GSC said "Satellite spectrum certainty is a must and Indian regulators must realise the importance of the allocation of the right amount of spectrum bands for the satcom sector which is poised to gain a 10% share in the global satellite communication business, almost a 50 billion dollar market economy in next 10 years"
At SIA-India we endeavour to continue amplifying the voice of the SatCom industry to make this the next sunrise sector. To see the proceedings of the conference session wise pls visit our website.
1. Emerging Trends in Satellite Communication's Landscape
Satcom proliferation will have a major impact on economy and employment in India and will have a larger role to play in the communications landscape with a future prospect in the OTT, LEO technology, Iot/M2M, low cost satellites, and disruptive satellite applications. "An important barrier other than the regulatory is to create awareness amongst people of the importance of these disruptive satcom technologies and applications." Mr. David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers
"5G for terrestrial should be allocated in the 26GHz spectrum and 28GHz should be provided for satellite communication to keep the best of both worlds." Mr. Cristian Gomez, Sr. Director, Government & Regulatory, Asia Pacific, Viasat Inc
Speaking during a session Mr. Gautam Sharma, Managing Director, INMARSAT India briefed about Inmarsat’s new offering ORCHESTRA. “Orchestra will be a unique, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network that integrates GEO, LEO & 5G into a single advanced solution for global mobility.” He further stressed that there should be a regulatory certainty in satellite communications especially on the spectrum assignment so that all technologies can complement each other and provide global mobility to the customers.

A lot depends on the upcoming space Act, which will define the roadmap ahead and since space sector is a capital intensive sector continued government and investor support will be needed as the sector matures in India.

2. Capacity building and industrial collaborations within the country

Financing the capacity expansion of the space sector in addition to liberalisation and reduction of bureaucracy are key elements to the growth of the Indian space sector. Space industry is asset heavy; hence understanding the market demand will be a prerequisite for any kind of capacity building in the industry post liberalisation. Industry collaboration with the government to develop new strategies w.r.t ownership, revenue sharing etc. could play a key role in the growth of the sector.

"NSIL new approach is to enable Indian Industries to scale up high-technology manufacturing base for space programme needs through technology transfer mechanisms with demand driven models which will ensure optimum utilisation of space resources and enrich the space economy”. Mr. D Radhakrishnan, Chairman & Managing Director, New Space India Limited

"The country has to create a strategy with light touch regulation, follow a bottom-up approach and build strong collaboration in domestic and international arena. Financing capacity building is very important hence sufficient investments are required to allow capacity building that is effective in the long run. UK has been ahead in its game with the help of massive investments that spearheaded its space Industry to a great deal. Creating tax free technology, investment and hubs are also necessary." Mr. Tony Azzarelli, CEO, Access Space Alliance, UK

3. Space Start-ups connecting to International markets with emerging Business Models.

There are several start-ups with brilliant ideas and have received decent funding too in past one year. There is a large-scale market opportunity for private players in both the upstream and downstream sectors to engage in the manufacturing design and development of high tech spacecrafts which would inadvertently help in proliferation of the downstream applications. Another trend to look for is low cost small satellites that are transforming the dynamics and economics of the space industry and this sect too has immense scope.

"Space has abundant data; and new deep tech start-ups are getting formed. They need both funding and infrastructural support. Government incentives for both the start-ups and MSMEs are pre-requisite elements for the ecosystem to get that first push. This would also allow for indigenisation of the manufacturing sector and formation of manufacturing hubs in the country" Mr. N Sudheer Kumar, Director, CBPO, ISRO-HQ
Like other sectors, space sector too needs IPR protection policy. The current space activity bill does not address and protects the interests of the private entities and also fails to deal with certain important provisions like orbital patents etc. As the activities of research and development in outer space involve a huge amount of investment, it is quintessential to recognize intellectual property in outer space as a must.
"The protection of intellectual property will ensure more participation of private business entities in the development of space technology." Mr. Abhishek Malhotra, Founding Partner, TMT Law Practice
4. Satellite Design and Development and Ground infrastructural requirements within the country.

For most of the companies having a working technology is not enough they need access to the market and contacts with customers as well as the investors.

Dr. Prakasha Rao PJVKS, Director-SIPO, ISRO has suggested that SIA-India needs to build a portal which lists out the best of the best technologies available by the start-up companies in each field. This portal will help to bridge this coordination loop for the stakeholders of the start-up industry, help them gain visibility and to compete in numerous national space projects and public tenders.

Industry needs subsidised access to potential hardware companies to get the stamp of space heritage to be able to market their products in the world. Instruments of procurement rules need to be liberalised to allow innovation in the procurement sector and also encourage IP development in the industry.


"Cross industry collaboration between Space, Defence, Aerospace industry Sectors can naturally exchange technologies, processes and ideas, they can combine existing technologies and lead to the development of new applications. And this would foster greater overlap between sectors and also the creation of new and innovative industries. Public-Private partnerships amongst these sectors can play an excellent model for the space sector" Dr. Narayan Prasad, COO Satsearch

5. Monetizing Satellite Applications; new business models with innovative use cases in connectivity
Mr. R Shakya, Dy. Director General - Satellite, Dept. of Telecom is of the opinion that "the role of satellite is very crucial in 5G proliferation, in every possible application by different technologies. Satellite can fulfil the requirements of ultra low latency and could be an enabling technology as capable as any other means. Along with the space com policy there will be remote sensing policy soon to spearhead the space activities in the country".
Liberalisation in satcom sector is quintessential and in order to realize the independent participation of private industry in Space activities, the government needs to look beyond ISRO-DOS. "The Indian space regulatory framework is due for an overhaul and must incorporate learning from the successful deregulation/liberalisation of, broadcast sector and telecom sector. This will help in actually fuelling the growth of private industries in the Indian space ecosystem and would perhaps help India become a global space technology hub." Mr. Rajdeep Sinh Gohil, Sr. Sales Director, AsiaSat
Ms. Aarti Holla Maini, Secretary General, ESOA said "Rural India lacks universal access to elementary education to a massive extent; only 30% of rural population are active internet users. Satellite is the answer to India’s digital divide. Bridging the rural urban gap is crucial and Village Wifi model, community wifi models and e-Choupal models can be created to fill this gap"
Satellite OTT in content and distribution is going to be great market in near future. India has about 2Million TV households and although OTT is while there to compliment, linear TV is going to dominate.
6. Regulatory Framework for Private Participation in Space Economy

The recent hyper-drive of Space Sector reforms and some in the pipeline point towards India's indispensible Space strategy but without a clear defined roadmap and deregulation of Power, space activities would lag in harnessing the power of private innovation and remain challenged at the overall Global strategic picture.

Space industry in India is fragmented with multiple and overlapping policies with numerous bodies governing exploration, orbital slots, interference, frequency allocation and operational license etc., but no clarity on which department to go to. Different departments (DOT/DOS/ANTRIX/WPC/NSIL/ISRO) create confusion and delay. Such lack of convergence between regulators could be a deterrent factor for the pvt players.

"India needs to consolidate all its programmes under one roof similar to EU space programme which was recently initiated in April 2021, where all its space activities are well coordinated." Mr. S. S. Sagar Priyatham, Managing Director, Aerospace and Aviation Lawyers Association of India
"If the intention is to translate the 2020 space reforms announcement on ground, then, private sector participation in activities in outer space is an imperative pillar. The foremost and first requirement is for government to harmonize India's international obligations arising from the international space law treaties into national law passed by Parliament. This is how international treaty obligations are implemented in every country. Why do we need such a law? Because a statute passed by Parliament which mandates the implementation space law treaty obligations will also provide statutory powers to the Regulator- Department of Space - to frame appropriate downstream regulation and procedural frameworks, that provide clarity and transparency to private sector on conducting activities in outer space." Dr. Ranjana Kaul, Partner, Dua Associates
DG connect:

"The Indian Space sector is a huge boon for the economy. With proper regulatory impetus in place this sector has the potential to soar beyond the realms of the LEO, MEO and GEO orbits. Ease of doing business is of paramount importance to achieve the industry goals"
Anil Prakash (Director General- SIA-India)
The fortnight at a glance:
Over 400 participants from 12 countries attended 2-day conference by SIA-India
New Delhi [India], August 11 (ANI/NewsVoir): Prakasha Rao, Director, SIPO; ISRO HQ suggested that 'Sia-India' should create a portal for listing capabilities of Indian Industry in the field of design...
Space has Abundant Data; New Deep Tech Technologies are Needed to Mine the Data
Urging the government to create a favourable eco-system for start-ups and MSMEs in the space-tech industry, experts from more than 12 countries unanimously agreed that there is a huge potential...
Right ecosystem can help India control 10% of space-tech sector: Experts
Bengaluru: With the space-tech sector estimated to touch $50 billion by 2030, experts are urging the government to create a favourable ecosystem for startups and MSMEs...
Saudi Space Commission launches training camp
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) has launched a workshop for the 'Go to Space' training camp initiative to introduce high school students to space sciences and technologies....
With a 'revolutionary' space project, the UK will dethrone Musk, Bezos, and the EU: 'First of its kind!'
With a projected satellite network, Inmarsat, a British satellite company, has taken up the challenge of outsmarting the European Union (EU) and the world's wealthiest individuals....
Up-coming events:
.......... International Events ..........

AUG 23-26


36th Space Symposium 2021
Colorado Springs, Colo., USA


SEP 07-10


Washington D.C., USA

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