The Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) today (May 26, 2000)
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Antrix Corporation, the
commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for acquisition
of Satellite capacity in the Indian Ocean Region.
VSNL has been witnessing a rapid rise in the requirement of satellite capacity
for Internet services, multimedia satellite uplinking, Internet Multicast
backbone services and regional high speed data connectivity requirements. VSNL
expects significant growth in its transponder requirements both in the C-band
and Ku-band over the next three years which justifies the augmentation of the
space segment capacity. The expansion is planned through Antrix Corporation.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman, ISRO said "ISRO is
highly focused on the development of satellite capacity in the Indian Ocean
Region. The Memorandum of Understanding with VSNL will culminate in making
available transponder capacity. This would help a number of users in India
including VSNL to deploy high technology satellite connectivity
Shri S K Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, VSNL, said "the MOU with
Antrix Corporation will help VSNL in acquiring much needed transponder capacity
to meet the growing requirements of all satellite services in India and in the
Indian Ocean Region. This will also herald the entry of VSNL into a regional
role in international operation. We are highly optimistic towards the future
satellite utilization scenario and the MOU marks an important stage in our
plans for emerging as a strong regional player".
The MOU signed between VSNL and Antrix Corporation will enable the two
organisations to clearly converge on the requirements of satellite, which will
ideally serve the multi service requirements of VSNL and its customers and lead
to a co-ordinated augmentation of the satellite capacity in the earliest time
VSNL at present uses the INTELSAT system for the bulk of its satellite
connectivity requirement. VSNL has over 30 earth station antennas deployed on
six INTELSAT satellites operating at 60°, 62°, 64°, 66°,
83° and 359° east longitude. VSNL has become second largest shareholder
in the INTELSAT system with increasing deployment of satellite capacities
INTELSAT and ISRO have also had a close working relationship with the leasing of
11 transponders on the INSAT-2E satellite by INTELSAT. Nine of these satellite
transponders are now being offered by VSNL to satellite broadcasters in India.
ISRO has been the first such organisation from which INTELSAT has leased
satellite capacity as a part of its international fleet of operating
satellites. VSNL was closely associated as the Signatory to INTELSAT in the
INTELSAT and ISRO partnership.
The MOU signed with Antrix Corporation today marks the second milestone of close
cooperation between VSNL and ISRO for satellite operations in the Indian Ocean