India to set up five large ground stations and more than 500 small terminals in Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as part of New Delhi’s space diplomacy to counter China’s influence in the region.
- The first of the five ground stations, will be setup in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu.
- These stations and terminals will help put in place applications ranging from television broadcasting to telephony and internet, disaster management and tele-medicine.
- Apart from the five large terminals, there’s demand for 100 VSATs — two-way terminals that allow telephony and internet—in each of the five countries
- ISRO meanwhile can use these ground stations to communicate with its own satellites.
- Maldives has also expressed interest in establishing disaster management centers in 100 of the 200 inhabited islands in the country.