11:24 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Inmarsat Opens India Gateway for Satellite Phones to Armed Forces, Police

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    British firm Inmarsat and its strategic Indian partner BSNL officially opened a new Indian GSPS gateway, which will enable Indian government and private sector customers to access highly-reliable satellite phone (satphone) services via Inmarsat's fourth generation constellation.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The new gateway will provide secure satellite communications to defense services and maritime industry in remote areas where no other communications network work. Agencies like the Border Security Force, the National Disaster Management Authority, state police, railways, and other government agencies will be given the phones in the first phase.

    "It will enable the Indian Government to provide secure communications to defense services, commercial enterprises, the maritime industry and India's remotest communities," Manoj Sinha, India's Minister for Telecom, said at the service launch. Presently, 1532 authorized satellite phone services in India are provided by Tata Communications which is going to be phased out by June 30 this year.

    The next generation GSOS gateway comes as a major relief to Indian armed forces because earlier it was possible to monitor calls outside the country as the Satellite Land Earth Station (gateway) was located outside the country. "Some of the paramilitary forces are using next generation handsets for satellite services which have been supplied by foreign satellite operators. Thus, there is a possibility of monitoring of their communication by foreign agencies as their gateways are located outside the country," TRAI, India's telecom regulator, had said in 2014.

    "This is an important day for Inmarsat and BSNL, and marks the start of a new era for Inmarsat services in India. The combination of Inmarsat's world-leading satellite communications capabilities and BSNL's strong telecommunications infrastructure will see the market for satphone services grow significantly," Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said.    

    Tags:
    mobile phones, satellite, India
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