OneWeb, a global satellite communications company, may be able to start offering commercial services by July this year. OneWeb’s executive chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, also expects a space-com policy announcement to occur soon.

In the near future, the Bharti-backed OneWeb could have all the statutory approvals it needs to launch its services, including landing rights and market access clearances. It is most likely that OneWeb would be the first company to launch broadband from space services in India, which would give it a major first-mover advantage.

Mittal also said that the spectrum for satellite communications should not be auctioned in India. OneWeb India has already applied for FDI (foreign direct investment) with the Indian government. From its holding company, the company plans to seek FDI. Currently, Bharti Airtel owns 100% of OneWeb India.

OneWeb India has already been licensed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for GMPCS (Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Services). Since OneWeb launches the services first, it will have an advantage over competitors such as Starlink. After the government unveils the spacecom policy, Starlink may also enter the Indian market.

Individuals will have to pay a lot more for space broadband services than they do for mobile services today, according to Mittal. A village, for example, with 30 to 40 homes, could use it and the cost would come down. Additionally, he said that India is now in a good position to become the global hub for manufacturing user access terminals (UATs), an essential piece of satellite gear for high-speed satellite broadband services. By July, the company might also launch services if it receives all the necessary permissions.