NEW DELHI: Broadband technology company Hughes is looking to foray into retail satellite-based broadband services in India following the ongoing reforms in the country’s space policy, a senior company official said. The government in June allowed the private sector to carry out space activities like building of rockets, satellites and providing launch services.
“The lesson for us is we need to get into the HughesNet consumer service in India quickly. Hughes is relatively buffered in this whole thing, we should definitely quickly get that. I would say that that’s a learning that somehow we have to get into the satellite consumer broadband segment in India,” Shivaji Chatterjee, senior VP and business head – Enterprise, Hughes Communications India told.
He said that the government has started reforms in the space sector which offers big opportunities for satellite companies.
“Globally in the satellite market there are a lot of capacities available, and a lot of markets are also restricted like China and Russia etc. So a lot of operators are ready to relocate capacity to India,” Chatterjee said.
He said that the company is closely working with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the retail broadband project where ISRO is launching a new satellite GSAT-20 which is expected to be launched by the end of this month.
GSAT-20 is expected to have about 60 to 70 gigabits of capacity and is considered 10 times more powerful than any satellite ISRO has launched.
“We are very actively looking at ISRO to give us by the end of this year, that kind of capacity,” Chatterjee said.
Talking about impact of coronavirus on the business, Chatterjee said that the company did not experience much adverse impact on the business because around two-thirds of its customer base fall into essential services categories like petrol pumps, bank ATMs etc and some of the clients modified their work according to the pandemic rules.
“People have not come back saying they don’t want the service. They are all paying the bills. In fact one of the biggest surprises we have had is, during the period we moved completely to e-invoicing and we’re getting our money much faster,” Chatterjee said.
Some of the Hughes clients operating in cinema and film distribution have been impacted due to the restriction imposed by the government and needs handholding, he said.