India activates satellite-based Internet service on Siachen Glacier


First Published Sep 19, 2022, 8:20 AM IST

There was a time when communication connectivity was unthinkable at the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier. Today, that barrier has been overcome with the Indian Army activating the satellite-based Internet system at over 19,000 feet. 

Informing about the feat achieved by the Siachen Signallers, the Indian Army’s Fire & Fury Corps on Sunday said: ‘Always Through’ satellite-based Internet service activated on the Siachen Glacier at 19,061 feet, the world’s highest battlefield, by the Siachen Signallers.’

Also Read: From the IAF Vault: How C-87 Liberator took India over Everest and beyond

Reacting to the development, a former Indian Army personnel said on Twitter, ‘I remember my days there. We used to have one satellite phone in a company location. And we were able to speak once a day back home at an exorbitant cost. Internet was a dream back then. However, the Internet is a double-edged weapon these days! A lot of caution would be needed.’

It should be noted that the Siachen Glacier holds strategic importance for the Indian Army to guard its borders and sovereignty amidst the presence of both adversaries — China and Pakistan — in the region. 

Satellite-based internet service

The service is wireless Internet beamed down from satellites orbiting the Earth. It differs from land-based internet services like cable or DSL, which transmit data through wires. 

It is helpful in places where the quality of access is unreliable or poor or places where terrestrial Internet access is unavailable.

How does the satellite-based internet work? 

It uses radio waves to transmit the Internet from an ISP hub to the satellite receiver dish, which is attached with a modem. For this, there is no requirement of wires or other ground-based infrastructure at the end users’ access point. 

It is like satellite direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting services.

Siachen Glaciers 

Siachen is known as the World’s highest battlefield and is located in the eastern Karakoram of the Himalayan range. Every day, the soldiers here brave the extreme and inhospitable weather conditions. Following ‘Operation Meghdoot’ the Indian Army took strategic control of the glacier in 1984. 

In another development, the Indian Army has invited Indian Defence Industry to offer critical defence equipment for Emergency Procurement, keeping in mind its commitment to fight future wars with home-grown solutions.

The process will be based on compressed timelines, wherein the procurement window will be open to the Indian industry for six months, and the selected industry will be expected to hand over equipment within a year of signing the contract. The force further added that the proposals are being fielded for drones, counter-drones, loiter munition, guns, missiles, optical and communication systems, specialist vehicles, engineering equipment and alternate energy resources.

Also Read: From the IAF Vault: Story of the first flight over Mount Everest

Last Updated Sep 19, 2022, 8:20 AM IST


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