Mobile Internet

Satellites: The way to boost India’s Internet Speeds

Indian is the second largest internet using country in the world behind China with a staggering 1 billion people logged on. Each day, thousands of first-time users are being attracted to the world of internet and it is changing their life by various degrees. Internet plays a vital role in the country’s development but unfortunately, in India, the scenario is not very good.

According to a recent survey conducted by Ookla, India ranked 109th and 76th in mobile internet speeds and fixed broadband services respectively. Considering the fact that India is one of the largest economies in the world and the second largest smartphone user too, the speeds are downright unacceptable. Sweden bagged the first spot in the mobile internet speeds and Singapore topped the fixed broadband speed test.

The current Indian government focuses on digitalizing numerous government processes. It has incentivized the efforts made toward digitalization in India. The largest digitalization drive was carried out in the financial sector with the introduction of the demonetization move. After the move, there was a severe cash crunch throughout the country and it compelled the citizen to use one or the other digital payment apps for carrying out the daily transactions. However, it has been seen that the slow internet speeds pose a great barrier in these processes.

Indian Space Research Organisation is one of the superiors among its peers from other countries. They have several records to its name such as the first ever to place a vessel in Mars’ orbit in the first try, sending the most satellites (104) at one go and most affordable moon mission in the history of space research. Along with the Indian government, ISRO is aiming to solve the issue of internet speeds especially in remote areas such as hills, mountains, thick forests, islands and deserts. According to a report by BBC, ISRO is also aiming to provide internet facility during air travels, which is currently not possible.

According to a Times of India news report, ISRO sent the GSAT 11 satellite to the orbit via a French rocket that launched from Kourou Spaceport based in French Guiana on 5th December 2018. The satellite weighed a massive 5854 kilograms and it was not possible for ISRO to send it in an Indian rocket due to the weight limitations. This is also India’s most advanced satellite to date. ISRO claims that the satellite has a shelf life of 15 years.

ISRO has been constantly in pursuit of achieving the dream of fast internet since long. They have already launched GSAT 19 and GSAT 29 before GSAT 11 and the GSAT 20 is scheduled to launch in 2019. The GSAT 11 is carrying 40 transponders in Ku band and Ka band. Together these satellites will help Indians browse at around 14 Gigabits per second as claimed by ISRO.

There are numerous uses of high-speed internet in the utterly remote places in India. Since we know that healthcare is a crucial sector that lacks in India. We do not have sufficient doctors, especially in rural areas. However, this issue can be tackled to a great extent with the use of the internet telemedicine. Video Conferencing is a proven method, which allows rural healthcare officials to connect with the specialist doctors in the cities or even abroad. They can help diagnose or even operate and save millions of lives. Similarly, high-speed internet can be extremely beneficial in the educations sectors too where the childre in the rural areas too can get a standard education via internet. ISRO is constantly innovating and striving towards providing better internet service to the billion plus internet users.

– Soumya De

Comment here