ONGC to connect rigs, ships with high-speed data

ONGC, India’s largest producer of oil and gas, has appointed satellite services provider Nelco to upgrade its in-house Ku band satellite communication system to enable high-speed data and voice services for its sites off India’s western shoreline.

The move will improve connectivity between ONGC’s offshore platforms, drilling rigs, vessels and onshore locations and improve the day-today operations of the company as well as the life of its crew, according to Nelco.

Ku band satellite services were earlier used for video transmission, and is the primary band for enabling satellite-based TV channel distribution in India, including DTH.

ONGC’s existing system will be replaced with an end-to-end IP network that can support video, voice and any other form of data, including application data.

The cost of the project will be Rs 40 cr.

“Nelco will revamp the existing Ku band captive network of ONGC as per their requirement, which will enable voice, and data communication between ONGC’s offshore installations, and onshore locations,” the service provider said.

Nelco, which used to sell its own brand of TVs in India, is now a leading Satellite Communication (SatCom or VSAT) Service Provider in India.

It holds licenses for commercial VSAT Communication Services, Category A ISP, In-flight & Maritime Communication (IFMC) and National Long Distance (NLD).

The scope of the ONGC project includes an upgrade of the existing Ku band satellite communication infrastructure, as well as upgrading the RF and antenna systems and other necessary electronic systems at all locations.

Besides enabling differentiated services, the upgrade will also make the whole system more efficient, resilient and reliable, Nelco added.

In addition to the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) Ku band network, ONGC also operates a satellite communication system in the C band.

Meanwhile, Nelco has emerged as a leading provider of satellite-based broadband connectivity to ships and flights.

Even as rival Hughes will launch a satellite broadband service in India with Bharti Airtel, Nelco has tied up with Telesat of Canada to offer similar services using a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites over the country. Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband service is already operational over the skies in India.