New Delhi, May 28: State-run BSNL has taken an appreciable endeavor to extend satellite phone services for all citizens in two years, which will provide a service that is immune to breakdown during natural calamities.
Traditional mobile networks cover around 25-30 km around towers and can transmit signals to phones placed equal to or below the height of the tower. This satellite phones depend on signals directly from satellites located about 35,700 km above the earth, so those will able to work in any part of the country, even inside flights and ships.
BSNL has started satellite phone service using INMARSAT service. This service will be provided to Government Agencies first agencies handling disasters, state police, railways, Border Security Force and other government agencies, and then it will be distributed to the citizens. This service will cover areas where no networks are present and are provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites.
BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said-“ Satellite phones also cost Rs 40,000 and more. All the satellite phones are imported at present. Once we open it for citizens, the volumes will drive down the cost of calls as well as a handset. Even, huge volume can attract satellite phone manufacturers to set-up their unit in India. We expect it to create a new ecosystem of satellite services in the country,”
Satellite phones are presently being provided by Tata Communication Limited, this connection will be phased out to BSNL from 30th June, 2017. There are 1,532 authorized satellite phone connections that can operate within the country and a majority of them are used by security forces, TLC also issued permits for maritime community, to use them on ships.
On security issues Shrivastava said- “BSNL has set-up gateway with INMARSAT to address security concerns among government agencies. Now, there are no more issued related to security. We will start providing satellite services once our registration process is complete and necessary approvals are in place.”
Telecom regulator Trai commented, that there is a possibility of monitoring such phones of India, which belongs to foreign agencies by origin, as the gate way belongs to outside India. Naturally Defense force will not get satellite phones from the foreign operators.
This endeavor of BSNL is really appreciable; it can make India a step ahead to future communication.