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Old 20th June 2019, 14:06   #1
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Default BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) had started providing Global Satellite Phone Service (GSPS) in India since 25th May 2017 which was restricted to the various Govt. Agencies only. Now BSNL has decided to provide GSPS service to the General Public and Private Enterprises also. Currently this service can be used only in India.

This would be of great help to the general public who can use the same for calling from areas without mobile signal coverage in India.

The entire details are available at BSNL website.

Now the cost is little bit on the higher side for the commercial users. Hope to have the same technology at affordable rates in near future.
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Old 20th June 2019, 21:14   #2
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Default re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

This is very interesting move from BSNL and would be of great help for search and rescue operations. Also for people working in remote areas where mobile network isn't available. However, the cost appears very high for a non commercial use.

Wonder what kind of security measures the government has taken to prevent this phone being misused by terrorists.

But for some of us who work in jungles with thick canopies and caves, even this phone is of no use in emergency as it won't connect to satellite. :-(
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Old 21st June 2019, 09:41   #3
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

On Team-BHP, this might be useful for hardcore offroaders & those who go camping . I've frequently seen zero network on my phone, starting in areas that are just 1 - 2 km from tarmac. For those who venture deeper, this could really come handy.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:27   #4
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

This sounds promising. Although, it is a niche service that only caters to a specific set of people you wander far and deep into areas with no cell connectivity for leisure or people working in remote areas for search, rescue , exploration, surveys etc .
This is what all those global baddies use to give world domination threats from the remote mountains of Siberia or the jungles of Amazon. Someone sipping coffee at Heathrow is not a target client I guess.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:49   #5
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

They have to implement a strong tracking and monitoring network to ensure that the satellite phones do not fall into wrong hands. Owning a satellite phone should be treated akin to gun ownership with the required background checks and other necessary terms and conditions.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:53   #6
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Satellite phones as such have been around for several decades. Apart from the obvious military use, they have been used by those fairing out to remote areas. Remote as in no terrestrial mobile phone coverage.

They have and are still used by explorer types, but also news crews. Cost of the handsets has always been high compared to regular mobile phones and usage of the data and voice services has always been considerable higher than on a mobile network. Not sure what kind of phones and at which price points BSNL is offering, or the cost of their services.

How well a satellite phone will work (e.g. whether you will have coverage) does depend on the satellite technology used. (Geo stationary satellites versus Low Orbit Satillites)

Geo Stationary satellite require a line of sight. So if you find yourself with a mountain between you and the satellite forget about making that call.

Have a looK

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_phone

(note the article still shows India having various restrictions on Satellite phone useage.

If you ever use your (smart) phone on an airplane equipped with WiFi, that data and voice traffic is handled via satellites as well.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 21st June 2019 at 10:55.
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Old 21st June 2019, 11:09   #7
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

This phone can be useful for fishermen and maritime applications as mentioned by the BSNL Website. It is still expensive for personal use given the availability of Wi-Fi and internet services on-board a ship. And the usability till the territorial waters (12 nautical miles / 22.2 km from the land) in India restricts its usage quite a lot.
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Old 21st June 2019, 11:36   #8
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Who is BSNL using to provide this service ? SpaceX has already launched a few satellites and Blue Origin will be doing the same. There could be tens of thousands of satellites providing this service if they implement their plans. Commercially the past and current providers have not done well in this area.
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Old 21st June 2019, 12:16   #9
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pardus View Post
Wonder what kind of security measures the government has taken to prevent this phone being misused by terrorists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
They have to implement a strong tracking and monitoring network to ensure that the satellite phones do not fall into wrong hands. Owning a satellite phone should be treated akin to gun ownership with the required background checks and other necessary terms and conditions.

Satellite phones are actually easier to track and monitor than a 4G/5G handset. This was vividly demonstrated by the US Navy when one of its submarines launched Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting Osama Bin Laden in 1998. OBL narrowly escaped but seven of his aides, including the one who was operating the phone, were killed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Who is BSNL using to provide this service ? SpaceX has already launched a few satellites and Blue Origin will be doing the same.
Be advised that importing and/or using an imported satellite phone is a major criminal offense in India. If you have a satphone with you when you arrive in an Indian airport, immediately declare it to avoid certain imprisonment. Most satphone service providers (Iridium, Thurya etc.) are all banned in India.

Indians are however allowed to use satellite phones bought from Indian dealers. Mostly, these are compatible with Inmarsat which is complying with DoT.

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 21st June 2019 at 12:18.
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Old 21st June 2019, 13:17   #10
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

If BSNL can offer the handsets on a monthly rental basis, this could be a lifesaver for tourists traveling to Ladakh or Chadar Trek.
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Old 23rd June 2019, 12:32   #11
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

What is the Grand Idea in not allowing global activities on a GPS phone!

Does it not remove one major benefit of these devices. Apart from GTO I have never faced the 'no signal' on my mobile for any significant distance. The only place it happened in was Ladakh. We had one BSNL-GSM and a Reliance CDMA. As expected the latter was not working. I did know of some people using Airtel quite happily in Leh.

Last edited by sgiitk : 23rd June 2019 at 12:33.
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Old 1st July 2019, 13:35   #12
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

This service of BSNL might just be the JIO effect (albeit with charges) for people in areas where there is no or poor network connectivity. I think this would definitely come in handy with HAM Radio operators during any natural disaster. I am not sure about the model in which NDRF works but this service could open up a possibility of setting up volunteers and give them proper training so that they can be the first responders in case of any disaster and act even before the army or ndrf teams come in. Just a thought from my side.

Requestng moderators to check and if deemed alright post or else delete the post.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 1st July 2019, 13:42   #13
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Who is BSNL using to provide this service ?
BSNL has tied up with Inmarsat for satellite communications services.
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Old 1st July 2019, 13:44   #14
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

Think twice before taking any new BSNL connection especially the one where you need to deposit security amount.
BSNL is not able to refund me my security deposit since last six months citing reasons such as shortage of funds. Even ET has a news article that BSNL is not even able to pay salaries for the month of June.
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Old 1st July 2019, 14:00   #15
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Default Re: BSNL Satellite Phone now available to anyone in India

I am 100% sure the network would be much more horrible on this.

I have taken a BSNL sim as I don't get signal at home with other operators. The signal for BSNL is generally excellent wherever I go. Their network really sucks and over 50% of the times everyone I know of have difficulty in reaching me.
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