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Inmarsat keen on offering high-tech services to India

In India, satellite based communication can be used for real time monitoring of environment, pollution levels, operations of smart power grids.

New Delhi: Global satellite services provider Inmarsat is keen on offering India high-tech services of regular monitoring of climate, power grids and water levels in reservoirs that will enable real-time exchange of information without human intervention.

"Because of the scale of population, India would be increasingly interested in machine-to-machine communication and environment monitoring," Todd McDonell, Vice President of Global Government at Inmarsat, said.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology enables exchange of information and data without human intervention.

In India, satellite based communication can be used for real time monitoring of environment, pollution levels, operations of smart power grids, checking water levels in reservoirs, he said.

"We are doing it at a number of places in the world already and have well built technology to provide reliable results in India," he said.

For M2M technology, customers are now moving from wireless mobile networks to satellite communication networks due to reliability and scalability, he added.

"We had some government customers in the world who used 3G networks for environment monitoring primarily and satellite networks as back up.

"But as 3G networks are getting congested they thought its unreliable and moved to satellite networks as primary and 3G networks as back up," McDonell said.

He said in India most of satellite firms provide broadcast service mainly, but Inmarsat primarily is a communication services provider which gives it an advantage over others.

In India, Inmarsat offers satellite mobile services through Tata Communications, which is the only company in the country that holds licence for such services.
The company is hopeful of getting direct entry into the satellite communications sooner or later.

"India has certain set of regulations and we are going through the process," an Inmarsat spokesperson said.
There are 1,532 authorised satellite phone connections that can operate within country and a majority of them are used by security forces. TCL has also issued 4,143 permits to maritime community for use of such phones at ships.

International Mobile Satellite Organization (INMARSAT) was set up under the aegis of United Nations in 1979 and India was one of the founding members.