Indian regulator recommends reducing levies on satellite services

Indian regulator recommends reducing levies on satellite services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended to the government to reduce/remove various levies imposed on satellite operators as well as measures like avoiding intermediaries in the segment to make services affordable.

The regulator recommended all satellite frequency bands to be used for providing satellite-based low-bit-rate connectivity, as a part of licensing framework for satellite connectivity applications.

A TRAI release said that it has also recommended the use of foreign satellites for providing connectivity for a longer duration than the permissible 3-5 years at present.

Low bit rate services are required for machine-to-machine communications, sensors used for tracking cargo, vehicles, railway and traffic signals, soil content for farming, among others.

"Considering the consTRAInts of the existing provisions in respect of proposed Satellite-based low bit-rate services, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has stated that there is a need for a suitable licensing framework and requested TRAI to examine all the factors holistically and recommend enabling provisions under the existing licensing framework of DoT, or new licensing framework may be suggested for such services for both commercial and captive usage," the release pointed out.

TRAI has also asked the telecom department to set up an online portal that will facilitate the easy and simple process for the companies to seek approval and permissions for providing satellite communications services in India.

TRAI also said providing a choice to the VSAT operators to directly negotiate and execute agreements with the satellite system provider will also help in avoiding the intermediaries and making the satellite-based services affordable.

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