IA troops get satellite based internet service at 19,061 feet – Know all about it

Indian Army soldiers deployed at the world’s highest battlefield Siachen Glacier can now communicate with their families through satellite-based Internet Service at over 19,061 feet.  This is the best thing that will bring cheer to the Indian soldiers who are deployed in the harshest frozen Siachen Glacier where temperatures drop to almost minus 60 degrees Celsius.

This was activated by the `Siachen Signallers’, Indian Army on Sunday (September 18, 2022) and shared by the Fire & Fury Corps on social media.

What is different from regular service?

What was unthinkable once, now, according to the Indian Army has been made possible by the state-owned Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). The BBNL comes under the Ministry of Telecom and is the authority implementing the BharatNet Project. This project has launched satellite-based internet across several locations of India. After Siachen Glacier the next location is the Northeast.

This satellite based Internet Services are enabled by Communication Satellites like GSAT 19 and GSAT 11 launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the BharatNet Project.

The internet service is wireless and is being beamed down from satellites which are orbiting the earth. This service is different from land-based which comes through cables or DSL, which actually transmit data through wires.

This Internet service will be of immense help in those places where access is not easy or is of poor quality. It will also help in providing connections where terrestrial Internet access is unavailable.

Bharat Broadband Network Limited Dish. (Images Credit: Indian Army)

Importance of Siachen Glacier

This is located in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalayas, at the height of around 20,000 feet. And is the highest militarized zone in the world.

It holds strategic importance for the Indian Army as it has to guard its borders and country’s sovereignty due to the presence of two adversaries – Pakistan and China in the region.

Word of caution

An Indian Army veteran welcoming the development on the social media welcomed this new development. “There was one satellite phone in a Company Location. And we would talk to our family once a day at an exorbitant cost.”

Veterans caution against this new Internet service as it is a double-edged weapon these days.

More about the satellite-based internet

A satellite dish, modem, radio waves are used. How? This uses radio waves to transmit the Internet from an ISP hub to the satellite receiver dish. This satellite dish is attached with the modem. And to run this there is no need for wires or any other infrastructure on the ground at the end user’s access point, explained a senior officer.

Basically, in simple terms it is like satellite Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting services.


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