India introduces draft telecom bill, beneficial to satellite communication operators

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

India made a large overhaul with the introduction of the telecom bill in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India, and satellite operators, such as Starlink, are expected to benefit from the bill.

According to PTI, Fortune, and Benzinga Newswire, India introduced a draft telecom bill in the Lok Sabha to overhaul the country's telecom laws. One of the aims is to switch from an auction system to an authorization-based system regarding spectrum distribution, as the traditional auction system is viewed as costliness and discouraging investment.

Fortune reported that the telecom bill is expected to revoke several laws, including the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act of 1950, while also making amendments to the TRAI Act of 1997.

PTI quoted Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal saying he would like to compliment the government for introducing a progressive and forward-looking bill in parliament. He said the bill helps simplify the current convoluted system that includes various licensing types into a more cohesive and efficient authorization-based regime. Vodafone Idea CEO Akshaya Moondra was quoted as saying that the forward-looking provisions in the bill will help deliver the benefits of digital connectivity.

According to the reports, satellite communication service providers, such as OneWeb, Starlink, and Kuiper, are anticipated to benefit from the bill. Fortune reported that countries across the world manage satellite spectrum allocation differently. Satellite spectrum is shared across borders, and there is no precedent of auctioning satellite spectrum by other countries.