Satellite broadband and related services in India are being promised a boost after a new deal involving Indian media and communications company NXT Digital (NDL) and Thailand’s Thaicom, a leading Asian satellite operator.
The two companies have signed a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a strategic partnership to enter the market for broadband over satellite (BoS) and related services in India.
The MoU envisages a partnership that includes the deployment of BoS systems on India-focused capacity, augmenting the existing IPSTAR-1, the first broadband satellite in the world, which has been operational over India for a number of years. The partners say that the BoS offering could be enhanced to provide future additional capacity on a software-defined high throughput satellite.
Thaicom and NDL will look to provide BoS services immediately on IPSTAR-1, focusing mainly on the rural footprint of India (comprising 60% of NDL’s customers) through the only HITS (headend-in-the-sky) platform in India.
The BoS service will focus on providing cost-effective and quality broadband and, the partners say, will give a tremendous boost to delivering education, information, entertainment, health and other services
It will also look to complement the existing broadband delivery technologies and penetration of NDL’s broadband subsidiary, OneOTT Intertainment Limited (OIL), India’s fourth largest private ISP with over one million customers and a presence in more than 150 cities and towns.
In addition, Thaicom and NDL aim to develop and offer a number of global emerging digital solutions including satellite artificial intelligence solutions comprising space-based data technologies for agriculture, disaster relief and natural resource management.
Both companies have also agreed to set up a Centre for Excellence to develop new satellite and related digital-based technologies.