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Satellite phone sector is open for all entities, says telecom ministry

July 17, 2017

According to the telecom ministry, the satellite phone sector is open for all entities and any interested company can start operations in the country. However, the service provider would be required to set-up a satellite phone gateway in India so that security agencies can lawfully intercept calls on its network whenever required.

Although the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has a provision for satellite phone services under the unified licence called Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) service, the permit for GMPCS is only given to firms after the a security clearance of the proposal by an inter-ministerial committee. Further, after the issuance of guidelines for satellite phone services licence in the year 2001, DoT had received a number of proposals from various satellite operators, namely, INMARSAT, Iridium, Thuraya, Globalstar, etc. for grant of the Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) licence.

However, none of the operators has currently established a phone gateway in the country. Further, no private satellite phone service provider has applied for the permit because of the regulatory requirement and absence of subscriber base for the services.

 
 

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