SatCom industry body SIA-India has stressed on streamlining of licensing framework for all satellite-based connectivity applications, and not only low-bit-rate applications, as it urged the regulator to unleash the full potential of all satellite bands for Internet of Things and Machine to Machine.

Responding to consultation paper by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 'licensing framework for satellite-based connectivity for low bit-rate applications', SIA-India batted for light-touch regulation.

Elaborating on submissions by the industry association, Anil Prakash, Director General, SIA-India, asserted that regulatory framework needs to be flexible enough to enable satellite service providers and end users to innovate, discover and create new satellite-based IoT and other applications that can be efficiently delivered through low-or high-capacity satellite links, as appropriate.

''Unleash full potential of all satellite bands for IoT/M2M,'' SIA India said while pushing for light-touch regulation.

SIA-India noted that satellites can be used for agriculture and soil, renewable energy, environment, land, water, rural and urban development, power and electricity, transportation, industrial automation, oil and natural gas, military, health, education, amongst others areas.

''Commercial VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) CUG (Closed Users Group) services authorisation permits the provision of data connectivity using VSAT terminals to CUG users. It will allow more private participation and allow the provision of any satellite-based connectivity within any service area,'' the association said in a statement.

It said L-band, S-band, C-band, Ku-band, Ka-band and other higher bands should be used to provide satellite-based IoT connectivity.

The regulatory framework will need to accommodate broadband IoT (Internet of Things) applications as each kind of orbit has its own advantages and disadvantages, it said.

''The policy should take into cognisance competitive options for satellite IoT and with the advent of high throughput satellite systems in GEO (Geostationary Orbit), MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) and LEO (Low Earth Orbit), satellite-based IoT applications might require higher bit rates and lower latency,'' the association said.

SIA-India noted that using the existing licensing framework that enables satellite services and relaxing per terminal licensing fees in the particular case of IoT/M2M would be a suitable approach, to make these services available to end-users in a manner that will guarantee their success and rapid update. Individual terminal-by-terminal fees should be avoided when dealing with a number of ubiquitous user terminals with similar technical and operational characteristics, and a `blanket license' approach would be more suitable, Prakash added.

SIA-India supported streamlining the licensing framework for all satellite-based connectivity applications, not just low-bit-rate applications, including lower fees and fee structures that would support large scale deployments under various business models.

''Satellite-based connectivity has proven to be a cost-competitive and efficient alternative to the provision of broadband – whether directly or by extending terrestrial networks – especially in places that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach with terrestrial infrastructure,'' said statement by SIA, a non-profit association representing the interests of communication satellite ecosystem in India. The comments come against the backdrop of TRAI inviting public views for framing licensing norms for satellite-based connectivity for low bit rate applications. The low bit rate applications are sensor-based applications used in ATMs, traffic management, vehicle tracking, IoT devices.