BSNL on Thursday announced the launch of a satellite-based internet of things (IoT) device service that can be used across India where mobile towers are not present, including the seas within the country's jurisdiction.
The state-run telecom firm said it is the world's first satellite-based narrowband-IoT network.
The service has been launched in partnership with US-based firm Skylo, which has developed the device for use in India.
According to a BSNL official, the device developed by Skylo will be provided only through the state-run firm at a price of around Rs 10,000 a unit. The square-shaped device can be carried by users across any part of the country and connect with their smartphones for two-way communication.
"The solution is in line with BSNL's vision to leverage technology to provide affordable and innovative telecom services and products across customer segments.
"Skylo would also help provide critical data for the logistics sector to enable effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 and will be a big contributor in service to the nation," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar said in a statement.
This new 'Made in India' solution, which is indigenously developed by Skylo, will connect with BSNL's satellite ground infrastructure and provide pan-India coverage, including Indian seas, the statement said.
"The coverage will be so vast that it will not leave any dark patch within the boundary of India, from Kashmir and Ladakh to Kanyakumari, and from Gujarat to the North East, including the Indian seas," it added.
BSNL further said the technology has already been tested successfully in various segments, including Indian Railways, fishing vessels and for enabling connected vehicles across India.
"Successful POCs (proof of concepts) have already been conducted by BSNL and Skylo in India and we will soon approach various user groups before the New Year 2021 begins," BSNL Board Director (CFA) Vivek Banzal said.
Skylo CEO and co-founder Parthsarathi Trivedi said for centuries industries, including agriculture, railways and fisheries, have been operating offline, and have not had the opportunity to take full advantage of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and IoT till date.
"This is the world's first satellite-based NB-IoT network and I am proud to launch this capability in India first to transform lives and our domestic industries," Trivedi said.