GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

Bharti Airtel has announced the formation of a joint venture with Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL), an innovator in satellite and networks to offer satellite broadband services in India. Hughes will hold a 67 per cent stake in the joint venture, while Airtel will hold a 33 per cent stake.


  1. The entity will be known as HCIPL and will combine the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) business of both companies, allowing them to offer scalable enterprise networking solutions.
  2. VSAT is a two-way ground station that transmits and receives data from satellites.
  3. It is used to provide satellite-based internet and telecom access to individuals and enterprise customers.
  4. Airtel and Hughes Communications’ agreement was first announced in May 2019, and the company in a press release said that it has received all statutory approvals, including those from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and Department of Telecom (Government of India) and the joint venture has been formed.
  5. Combining the proven capabilities of both Hughes and Airtel, the partnership will bring synergies to the forefront – including multi-orbit solutions – for the benefit of customers across the length and breadth of India.
  6. The JV has a combined base of over 2 lakh VSATs, making it the largest satellite service operator in the country.