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Issue of April 2003 
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Indian Satellite Communications market to top 110,000 installations

According to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the market for satellite broadband equipment in India is expected to grow five times to about 110,000 units over the next five years. The growth will be driven by new applications like distance education, Internet, rural connectivity, banking and finance, and gaming. The findings of the report on the VSAT industry, conducted for the financial year 2001-02, shows that Hughes was the leading service provider in India with 35 percent of the
market share.

As per the report, over the last year, the industry has benefited greatly from aspects like increased adoption of IT by non-IT 'old economy' companies, favorable regulations, and overall macro-economic business confidence. The report also says that satellite communications will be the solution for the last mile access problem in a country like India.

Terrestrial connections in our country are either unavailable or unreliable, whereas satellites provide ubiquitous and reliable coverage. The technology has really matured over the last two years with the provisioning of more and higher powered satellites over India. This increases the bandwidth availability, which leads to lower bandwidth costs.

Regulatory reforms, which allow smaller customer terminals, higher bandwidth transmission, and use of foreign satellites for uplinking, have made the technology market-friendly.

According to the report, the industry continues to record the highest growth rate in any segment of the Indian IT industry. Service and survivability are expected to be the key drivers for customers to opt for preferred vendors and service providers.

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