India's Telecom Sector | Recent Developments

Boon for Rural Connectivity: Indian Government Clears Path for Satellite Internet Services

This post delves into recent developments in India’s telecom sector, specifically focusing on the government’s approval for satellite internet services and Trai’s recommendations on infrastructure sharing.

Satellite Internet Gets Green Light

The Indian government’s move in the Supreme Court regarding spectrum allocation has positive ramifications for companies like Bharti-backed Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Satellite Communications. The Supreme Court case on administrative allocation of spectrum won’t affect satellite service plans, as the Telecom Act, 2023, already paves the way for allocating spectrum for satellite communication through an administrative route. This is a significant shift from auctioning satellite spectrum, which was deemed unsuitable due to the limited target market in rural areas and the nascent stage of the industry.

Faster Rollout and Level Playing Field Expected

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is finalising its terms of reference for satellite spectrum allocation, which will be sent to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) within a few weeks. Trai will then hold consultations to determine a methodology for allocation, pricing, and licensing, ensuring a level playing field between satellite and terrestrial internet providers. This streamlined process is expected to expedite the rollout of satellite internet services in underserved rural areas.

Potential Boost for Telecom and Satellite Internet Stocks

The positive regulatory environment for satellite internet could lead to a rise in stock prices for companies involved in the sector. Investors interested in the potential of rural broadband penetration may find opportunities in Bharti Airtel, Jio, and OneWeb, all of whom have ventures in satellite internet.

Market Potential and Investment Considerations

A joint report by ISpA and Deloitte estimates a promising market potential of USD 263 million for satellite broadband connectivity in rural India over the next five years. This indicates growth prospects for companies entering this space. Investors following the telecom and satellite sectors should stay informed about further developments as regulations and policies take shape.

Trai Recommends Infrastructure Sharing for Reduced Costs

In a separate development, Trai has recommended that the DoT allow sharing of all types of telecom infrastructure between operators. This move aims to reduce costs, improve service quality, avoid duplication of investments, and expedite service delivery. Currently, infrastructure sharing is limited to specific elements like antenna and feeder cables. By enabling broader sharing, Trai expects to lower the cost of providing wireline services, potentially leading to a rise in broadband penetration across the country.

Analysis and Outlook

The Indian government’s decision to facilitate satellite internet services and Trai’s recommendation on infrastructure sharing are significant developments for the telecom sector. Together, these measures have the potential to:

  • Bridge the digital divide: Satellite internet can provide much-needed internet connectivity to underserved rural regions, fostering economic growth and social inclusion.
  • Increase competition: The entry of new players in the satellite internet space will increase competition in the broadband market, potentially leading to lower prices for consumers.
  • Boost investment: The growing satellite internet market and infrastructure sharing opportunities are likely to attract investments in the sector.

However, some challenges remain. Regulatory frameworks for satellite internet and infrastructure sharing need to be finalised to ensure a smooth rollout. Additionally, pricing strategies for satellite internet services need to be carefully considered to make them affordable for rural populations.


The Indian government’s green light for satellite internet services and Trai’s focus on infrastructure sharing mark a positive step towards a more robust and inclusive telecom sector. These developments hold promise for improved rural connectivity, increased competition, and potential investment opportunities. As the regulatory environment takes shape, investors and industry stakeholders should closely monitor the evolving landscape.

Disclaimer: This post has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. The information is based on various secondary sources on the internet and is subject to change. Please consult with a financial expert before making investment decisions.