BSNL to Extend Satellite Phone Service to Public in 2019

BSNL is planning to introduce satellite phone service to public in 2019. Initially, the service will be offered only to Indian military, railway, state police, and other government agencies.

The main feature of satellite phones is that they use communication satellites in Earth’s orbit to transmit and receive signals, and therefore offer secured and seamless secure phone connectivity to users.

“We have applied to International Maritime Organisation. It will take some time to complete the process. In 18-24 months, we will be in a position to open satellite phones service for citizens in a phased manner,” said Anupam Shrivastava, BSNL chairman and managing director, according to PTI.

“The number of satellite phone connections in India is very little but once we open it for citizens, the whole dynamics in the market will change. The volumes will bring down the cost of service. We are charging only Re 1 over the cost that satellite firm will bill to us,” Shrivastava said.

International Mobile Satellite Organization (INMARSAT) was established 1979, and India is among the founding members of this organization. Presently, satellite phone service in India is provided by Tata Communications Ltd (TCL), which will be phased out by June 30, 2017. Then all connections will be transferred to BSNL. Indian Military has been demanding this service for the past many years, but was hesitant to subscribe it from private operators. INMARSAT currently has 14 satellites orbiting the Earth.

In first phase, BSNL will offer satellite service to government agencies having responsibilities to handle disasters, state police, railways, BSF, and others.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was founded in October 2000, and is headquartered in New Delhi. This Indian state-owned telecommunications company which offers fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet, and digital television services to its customers. Prior to creation of BSNL, telecom services in India were being provided by Central Government Departments of Telecom Services (DTS) and Telecom Operations (DTO).

Today, with more than 60% market share, BSNL is the largest provider of fixed telephony and broadband services in India. It is also the fifth largest mobile service provider in the country. As of June 2015, BSNL had a customer base of 93.29 million, which is spread all across India except New Delhi and Mumbai, which are managed by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).

BNSL provides GSM cellular mobile services in India under the brand name Cellone. It also provides MPLS, P2P and Internet leased lines to business. BSNL also uses its wide optical fiber network and CDMA technology to offer fixed-line telephony services. Other value-added services provided include Free Phone Service, India Telephone Card, Account Card Calling, Virtual Private Network, Premium Rate Service, and Universal Access Number. The IPTV service offered by BSNL allows customers to watch their favorite TV programs through internet and VVoIP.  BSNL also provides Fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband service to subscribers. This fastest broadband service can offer up to 100Mbps speed to the Internet users.