Earlier this month, seven fishermen from Udupi—a coastal city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka—had a close shave close shave The Hindu Technology comes to the aid of seven fishermen onboard sinking vessel Read more . Their boat sank off the coast of the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, leaving the panic-stricken fishermen screaming for help. A nearby boat, which had a novel, satellite-based, two-way communication device onboard, raised an alarm with the owner of the sunk boat and Maharashtra’s coastal security police. With the exact distress location available on time, the rescue team managed to save all lives.

The communication device—the day’s saviour—was from Skylo Tech, a US-India satellite technology startup. The ground communication provider was the public sector telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). A week later, on 10 December, BSNL and Skylo officially announced announced Press Information Bureau BSNL, in partnership with Skylo, to introduce worlds' first, satellite-based narrowband-IoT network in India Read more their partnership to provide satellite-based Internet of Things (IoT) services to industries in India. The BSNL chairman, PK Purwar, particularly stressed that Skylo would help provide “critical data for the logistics sector to enable effective distribution of Covid-19 vaccine” in the coming months.

Later this week, on 17 December, OneWeb would come out of bankruptcy to launch low earth orbit satellites. The microsatellite company counts counts The Ken OneWeb, many possibilities for Bharti Read more Indian telecom group Bharti Global, which invested US$500 million, as one of its majority owners. Bharti will invest another US$1.5 billion over time as it prepares to provide commercial internet from space in a few regions by October 2021.

Telcos are looking up to space for succour as the ground beneath their traditional telecom business is getting shakier by the month. For a while, telcos have wailed that while they spend megabucks building infrastructure, it’s the US tech giants reaping most of its benefits. Now big tech is closing in closing in Business Insider Inside Facebook's plan to eat another $350 billion IT market Read more on telcos’ customers.

“In the next five years, telcos as we know it may not exist. We may be buying communications (voice and data) directly from Amazon (Project Kuiper), Google (Project Loon), SpaceX (Starlink), OneWeb, Boeing Boeing Seattle Business Magazine Boeing Is Back in the Race to Build a Space-Based Internet Read more , Samsung, and even Facebook.”

That’s an astounding prognosis prognosis GadgetGuy Boost Mobile Peter Adderton – “Move over 5G – here comes Starlink” Read more from Peter Adderton, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Boost Mobile, a wireless communication operator in the US and Australia.