Telecom Bill 2023: A Game-Changer for Satellite Communication Licensing

Satcom Revolution: Administrative Licensing Signals a New Era


In a significant development that marks a paradigm shift in the satellite communication (satcom) landscape, the recently proposed Telecommunication Bill for 2023 in India has charted a new course for the allocation of satcom licenses. This move is poised to have far-reaching implications, particularly favoring foreign players such as Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper.


The draft of the Telecommunication Bill, designed to replace the archaic Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933, has strategically chosen to allocate satcom licenses through an administrative route. This decision has stirred the industry, especially as it stands in stark contrast to the recommendations put forth by Reliance Jio, led by business magnate Mukesh Ambani.

One of the most notable aspects of the new legislation is the exemption of satcom players from participating in a bidding process for licenses. This departure from the auction-based approach has sparked conversations and debates within the industry.

Foreign players, particularly Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper, have emerged as key beneficiaries of this move. The provision not only aligns with global practices but also addresses concerns raised by foreign entities regarding potential cost overruns associated with

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