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Hughes, ISRO launch satellite internet service in India as Musk's Starlink disappears

Satellite internet provider Hughes Communications India on Monday announced the commercial launch of India's first high-throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service powered by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as the Elon Musk-run SpaceX abandoned its affordable internet project Starlink in the country.

The service aims to deliver high-speed broadband across the country, including in the most remote areas beyond the reach of terrestrial networks, thus connecting enterprise and government networks.

"At ISRO, we are committed to exploring and expanding the ways we can work with the private sector to help improve people's lives and bridge the digital divide," said Dr S Somnath, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO.

""With the new HTS capabilities powered by ISRO satellites, we are confident that HCI will continue to deliver excellent quality satellite broadband services and further enhance the connectivity experience that accelerates India's digital transformation," Somnath added.

HCI provides satellite broadband across more than 200,000 business and government sites in India, supporting enterprises as well as strategic central and state government projects.

In use on more than 75 satellites, the Hughes JUPITER System is the de facto standard for both high-throughput and conventional satellite implementations worldwide.

"Available countrywide, HTS broadband from Hughes underscores our longstanding commitment to bridging the digital divide, delivering multi-megabit high-speed broadband at affordable rates," said Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCI.

"This new broadband service will support the high-bandwidth requirements of government organisations, financial companies, cellular operators, mining and energy companies, among other businesses, large and small, helping to connect India to a limitless future,a he added.

The HTS broadband service from Hughes combines Ku-band capacity from ISRO's GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites with Hughes JUPITER Platform ground technology to deliver high-speed broadband across India, including in the most remote areas beyond the reach of terrestrial networks.

The service supports applications such as Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access; managed SD-WAN solutions; backhaul to extend mobile network reach; and satellite internet for small businesses.