Indian Startup Offer 50Mbps Internet In Any Corner Of India
The 18-member team, led by Neha Satak and Bhat at a lab in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), plans to launch 200 micro-satellites into space, which will send you Internet that is ‘fast, reliable, available everywhere, and life-changing’, as the website declares.
This will be achieved in three ways: One, their satellites can power existing cellular towers. Two, individuals can buy a set-top box and install an antenna for fixed-point uses at homes or offices. Three, one person can buy this set-up and redistribute the Internet to an entire locality. Running behind their deadline, they will send their first satellite into space next year, and the rest by 2021.
So ‘Digital India’ is a distant dream, as also stated in the Internet in India 2017 report. It notes that the Internet penetration in rural areas is critically low at 20.26 per cent as opposed to 64.84 per cent in urban areas. “But the demand for Internet is increasing in rural markets at a rate of 30-40 per cent, per year. Now if this demand goes unmet, people will migrate to cities,” adds Bhat. But why should that be the case, they ask.
Yet, bridging this great Indian divide is going be a long haul. “The capacity of each of our satellites is 100Gbps. So if each user was to consume 10Mbps, each satellite can serve about a lakh people. To meet the demand of India alone, we’ll need to send some 10,000 satellites,” Bhat says with a chuckle.
So, by 2021, he admits while they will be able to “serve everybody, but not in the same capacity.”