Wanted: Satellite Joint Venture in India


It’s no secret satcom has wildly optimistic projections for providing service in India — television and Internet. Direct-to-home satellite television probably has the greatest potential. All you need to do is get beyond government bureaucracy. Simple.

Satellite companies have been trying to get more business from India for years. The AAP-1/NSS-11 satellite’s South Asian beam was specifically designed for DTH. Did they get the business? No. The government insists on majority ownership by Indian entities. Antrix books plenty of space on it, but no DTH business.

So how will they satisfy demand? Buy a satellite from another operator.

Antrix Corp, India’s only space services company, is out to break new ground in the $2.5 billion industry.

The Rs 1,000 crore firm is scouting for joint ventures with similar overseas firms to own and operate satellites.

It is talking to one European and a regional company, to buy a large sized communications satellite, managing director K R Sridhara Murthi told DNA.

"We are looking to build strengths in new areas and have kicked off talks with these parties to own and operate satellites," Murthy added. But he refused to divulge the names of the involved parties pending finalisation of a deal.

The move follows an earlier attempt at a similar JV in 2004 with Malaysia’s MEASAT Global to develop a satellite neighbourhood for broadcasting and telecom customers across the wider Asia-Pacific region. 

 Given last month’s space agreement with the U.S., it seems India will be next real power in space.