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Indian Firm Launching 5G Satellite Constellations to Provide High-Speed Internet Amid Delayed Trials

New Delhi (Sputnik): Government-sanctioned 5G trials in India, which were scheduled for this year, have reportedly been postponed by a year because of the coronavirus situation. As of now, India seems to have missed its seat in the global 5G wagon of 2020, which is being led by South Korea, China, the US, and the UK respectively.

In a bid to speed up and at least begin the first 5G network services in India, a Pune city-based start-up called Vestaspace Technology has announced the launch of a constellation of more than 35 satellites covering major parts of India, while providing connections and Internet of Things (IoT) functionalities to Indian individuals as well as industries.

“The project doesn’t get affected if there is [a] postponement in [the] government’s 5G trials. The reason being that Vestaspace already has astounding results with the test run of our satellite-based 5G availability and deployment a few months ago. The results of our project will reflect in September 2020, which will support the test results obtained earlier”, Arun Kumar Sureban, the founder and CEO of Vestaspace Technology, told Sputnik.

Officially, the company claims to have accomplished the live-streaming of a 1080 full HD resolution video with less than 34 milliseconds latency at a speed of more than 400 Mbps. The company is set to release a beta version of the satellite constellations this September followed by the launch of a fully operational constellation of satellites in early 2021 into low-Earth orbit or “Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit”.

Explaining their technology, Sureban said that the unmanned satellites launched by them will work on AI-technology, which will bring in-depth data and solutions to the telecom industry and the common people. A total of eight ground stations and 31,000 data receptors have been positioned by the company all over India.

But a question that arises is how will this 5G technology, being transmitted directly from a space satellite even to Indian terrains where mobile networks have not reached, actually reach normal Indians?

“The normal people will be accessing the 5G service via their own network providers like Airtel, Vodafone-Idea or Jio – whichever provider collaborates with us. Direct satellite connection. And also there are special provisions where common people will be using our edge solutions directly from the satellite via our own servers”, Sureban added.

Satellite-based 5G availability in India comes at a time when the country is still deciding its stance on 5G trials, spectrum auctions, and the deployment of the high speed networks.

The International Telecom Union (ITU), which is part of the United Nations (UN), is holding a virtual meeting next month. Ahead of the meeting, phone companies in India have reached out to Anshu Prakash, the telecom secretary of India, to clear blurry lines on India’s plan for 5G spectrum auctions, trials, and roll-out.

India is required to report about its position in the 5G sector as part of the ITU meeting next month, for which, a National Preparatory Committee (NPC) must be formed - and it needs to quickly formulate India’s stance on the situation.

For now, India is fuelled by affordable and speedy 4G networks. In 2019, reports suggested that India would conduct a fresh auction of the 4G spectrum between the 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands in April 2020. The plan, which is also currently on hold, may unfurl in the coming months.

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