India to launch its own satellite for satphone

Date:   Tuesday , March 02, 2010

After depending on foreign satellites for a long time, ISRO plans to launch its own satellite by 2011, which will carry a large S-band transponder to help India provide its own signals for satellite phones. The country is currently building a dedicated high-beam, antenna to provide satellite phone services.

"We are in the process of building a high-beam antenna which will be deployed on board a satellite for providing satellite phone (satphone) services using S-band transponder. We can connect handheld devices when it is launched in a year or so, said former Indian space agency Chairman, G Madhavan Nair, on the sidelines of the India Semiconductor Association's (ISA's) Vision Summit. "Currently, some foreign satellites are being used for satphone services in the country. Development work is going on to synthesize the antenna. It will be deployed in one of the communication satellites with S-band transponder," Nair said on the margins of a summit on the Indian semiconductor industry.

Indian space agency has already designed the antenna that will be mounted on the spacecraft for dedicated satphone services. Once the satellite gets launched, India will become one of the major players in using satellite phones.

This might also help in bringing down the cost of satellite phone services. Nair said, "Presently, some foreign satellites are being used for satphone services in the country. Development work is on to synthesize the antenna. It will be deployed in one of the communication satellites with S-band transponder.

Telecom revolution in the past decade has led to a phenomenal growth of mobile services in India using GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technologies. As the world's fastest growing telecom market, India already has about 500 million mobile users for a billion-plus population.