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TRAI Consultation Paper on Licensing Framework for Satellite-based connectivity

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  • TRAI Consultation Paper on Licensing Framework for Satellite-based connectivity

    The Telecom regulator last month issued a consultation paper on “Licensing Framework for Satellite-based connectivity for low bit rate applications”. Given the high growth potential and wider application of low bit applications such as IoT in various fields, the paper highlights the need for creating an favourable regulatory environment in order to enable and promote access to affordable satellite-based connectivity for both commercial as well as captive use. Following are the key questions on which response has been sought by TRAI.

    Q1. There are two models of provision of Satellite-based connectivity for IoT and low-bit-rate applications — (i) Hybrid model consisting of LPWAN and Satellite and (ii) Direct to satellite connectivity.

    (i) Whether both the models should be permitted to provide satellite connectivity for IoT devices and low-bit-rate applications? Please justify your answer.

    (ii) Is there any other suitable model through which the satellite-based connectivity can be provided for IoT devices? Please explain in detail with justifications.

    Q2. Satellite-based low-bit-rate connectivity is possible using Geo Stationary, Medium and Low Earth orbit Satellites. Whether all the above type of satellites should be permitted to be used for providing satellite-based low-bit-rate connectivity? Please justify your answer.

    Q3. There are different frequency bands in which communication satellites operate such as L-band, S-band, C-band, Ku-band, Ka- band and other higher bands. Whether any specific band or all the bands should be allowed to be used for providing satellite based IoT connectivity? Please justify your answer.

    Q4 (i) Whether a new licensing framework should be proposed for the provision of Satellite-based connectivity for low-bit-rate applications, or the existing licensing framework may be suitably amended to include the provisioning of such connectivity? Please justify your answer.

    (ii) In case you are in favour of a new licensing framework, please suggest suitable entry fee, license fee, bank guarantee, NOCC charges, spectrum usage charges/royalty fee, etc.

    Q5. The existing authorization of GMPCS service under Unified License permits the licensee for provision of voice and non-voice messages and data services. Whether the scope of GMPCS authorization may be enhanced to permit the licensees to provide satellite-based connectivity for IoT devices within the service area? Please justify your answer.

    Q6. Commercial VSAT CUG Service authorization permits provision of data connectivity using VSAT terminals to CUG users.

    (i) Whether the scope of Commercial VSAT CUG Service authorization should be enhanced to permit the use of any technology and any kind of ground terminals to provide the satellite-based low-bit-rate connectivity for IoT devices?

    (ii) Whether the condition of CUG nature of user group should be removed for this authorization to permit provision of any kind of satellite-based connectivity within the service area? Please justify your answer.

    Q7. (i) What should be the licensing framework for Captive licensee, in case an entity wishes to obtain captive license for using satellite-based low-bit-rate IoT connectivity for its own captive use?

    (ii) Whether the scope of Captive VSAT CUG Service license should be modified to include the satellite-based low-bit-rate IoT connectivity for captive use?

    (iii) If yes, what should be the charging mechanism for spectrum and license fee, in view of requirement of a large number of ground terminals to connect large number of captive IoT devices?

    Q8. Whether the scope of INSAT MSS-R service authorization should be modified to provide the satellite-based connectivity for IoT devices? Please justify your answer.

    Q9. (i) As per the scope mentioned in the Unified License for NLD service Authorization, whether NLD Service providers should be permitted to provide satellite-based connectivity for IoT devices.

    (ii) What measures should be taken to facilitate such services? Please justify your answer.

    Q10. Whether the licensees should be permitted to obtain satellite bandwidth from foreign satellites in order to provide low-bit-rate applications and IoT connectivity? Please justify your answer.

    Q11. In case, the satellite transponder bandwidth has been obtained from foreign satellites, what conditions should be imposed on licensees, including regarding establishment of downlink Earth station in India? Please justify your answer.

    Q12. The cost of satellite-based services is on the higher side in the country due to which it has not been widely adopted by end users. What measures can be taken to make the satellite-based services affordable in India? Please elaborate your answer with justification.

    Q13.Whether the procedures to acquire a license for providing satellite based services in the existing framework convenient for the applicants? Is there any scope of simplifying the various processes? Please give details and justification.

    Q14. If there are any other issues/suggestions relevant to the subject, stakeholders are invited to submit the same with proper explanation and justification.
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