Amazon has expressed its interest in collaborating with the Indian government and local partners to make affordable broadband available across India. This marks Amazon’s entry into India’s emerging satellite communication (satcom) market.
As reported by the Economic Times, Amazon’s Project Kuiper aims to provide fast and cost-effective broadband connectivity to underserved and remote areas in India and worldwide. Amazon emphasizes that this project is long-term, and it will cooperate with the Indian government to ensure widespread connectivity.
Amazon has also applied for a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) license, a key step in obtaining government approvals to offer satellite broadband services. The company recently launched two test satellites into low-earth orbit (LEO) and plans to create a global network of 3,236 satellites to provide internet services worldwide.
While Amazon aims to launch services by the end of 2024, specific target markets, including India, are yet to be confirmed. In contrast, Elon Musk’s Starlink has not entered the Indian market, partly due to high pricing. Amazon’s commitment to offering affordable broadband is promising, although pricing may be in line with competitors like Eutelsat OneWeb and Starlink.
Amazon faces regulatory hurdles and a complex process to secure permissions and licenses from the Indian government, including approvals from In-Space and the Department of Space (DoS). The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will also determine satellite spectrum allocation for broadband services.
Obtaining a GMPCS license is a significant milestone but does not guarantee an immediate service launch. The spectrum allocation debate continues, and building a constellation of LEO satellites for broadband services takes time.
Therefore, it may be some time before Amazon can provide commercial broadband services from space in India, with further updates expected in the future.