Tata Group subsidiary, Nelco Limited, on Wednesday announced that it made a strategic investment in Mumbai-based satellite network software provider, Piscis Networks. Exchange filings made by Nelco, which offers satellite communications services to enterprises, revealed that the company has picked by a 9.09% stake in Piscis for a total investment of ₹99,99,100, to acquire 1,111 equity shares in the company.
Nelco further disclosed in its filings that the company may acquire up to 30% of Piscis Networks, subject to gaining regulatory approval for its acquisition.
Shares of the company closed 0.95% down at ₹711.80 apiece on Wednesday. The company’s stock had gained 2% during intraday trading following its investment announcement, but eventually closed lower than on Tuesday. The BSE Sensex index closed 0.56% up at 63142.96 points.
Nelco Limited offers satellite communications and network services to clients in various industries, including aviation and maritime services. The company is one of many partnerships around the world that are looking to capture a pie of a potentially growing global satellite communication services market, with other entities including Indian telecom operators Bharti Airtel (in partnership with UK satellite operator OneWeb) and Reliance Jio (in partnership with Luxembourg’s satellite operator, SES).
To compete in this sector, Nelco has partnered with Canadian satellite operator Telesat to provide communications and network connectivity to on-ground clients. In May last year, the two companies jointly concluded a successful demonstration of its low Earth orbit (LEO)-based high-speed satellite broadband network services in India. The test was offered to enterprises, telecom and government clients of the satellite service provider.
In February last year, Nelco managing director and chief executive, Pradip J Nath, told Mint in an interview that LEO-based satellite broadband services will not look to rival on-ground telecom service providers, but instead cater to enterprises in areas where terrestrial networks are not predominantly available.
In a statement announcing the investment in Piscis, Nath said that the investment will be used by the company to “deliver comprehensive satellite communication solutions for our existing customers as well as new market segments.”
Nelco’s announcement comes as rival satellite service provider OneWeb completed the deployment of its 618 LEO satellites as part of a global constellation. The Bharti Enterprises-backed operator is expected to commence its satellite communications and network services in India — including in other markets — before the end of 2023.