BSNL has introduced satellite phone service in India that will help in relief and rescue operations in times of disaster besides aiding security and other agencies in carrying out work in remote and unconnected areas of India…

NEW DELHI, MAY 24, 2017: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Wednesday launched its satellite phone service through International Mobile Satellite Organization or INMARSAT, having 14 satellites, which will cover areas where no networks are present. Initially the service will be available to government agencies and later opened for others citizen in phased manner.

“Agencies handling disasters, state police, railways, Border Security Force and other government agencies will be given the phones in the first phase. Later people while travelling in flight and on ships will be able to use it,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said while launching the service. INMARSAT was set up under aegis of United Nations in 1979 and India was one of the founding members. India had set up one gateway required for satellite phone service in Pune under Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL).

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha launching BSNL’s satellite phone service. BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava is seen standing next to him.

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said: “We are starting satellite mobile service today with voice and SMS.” Satellite phones in India are presently provided by Tata Communications, which inherited the licence from VSNL (now Tata Communications Ltd). “The services of TCL will be phased out by June 30, 2017,” Mr. Shrivastava said.

There are 1,532 authorised satellite phone connections that can operate within the country and a majority of them are used by security forces. TCL has also issued 4,143 permits to maritime community for use of such phones at ships.

“All the connections will be transferred to BSNL. The call rates will be determined by BSNL. It should be in the range of Rs 30-35 per minute,” INMARSAT-India Managing Director Gautam Sharma said.

The Telecom Minister also launched Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award Scheme and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme on this occasion. Over 10,000 people from 10 States/UTs to be trained in the first phase under the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana are included in the first phase.

Mr. Sinha said the DoT will set up more than 1,000 Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan in future under the newly launched scheme, while Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award will be given the person who will perform at par excellence. He also said DoT will provide broadband connection to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats by December 2018.

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