How did the deal between ISRO and Devas Multimedia take shape? And what was the role of the government of India?

On May 31, 2010, Business Line first reported ISRO's preferential maiden allotment of S-band spectrum to Devas Multimedia, which planned to launch digital satellite multimedia broadcast services (D-SMB) in India using that space infrastructure.

This is what Ramachandran Viswanathan, President & CEO, Devas, told The Economic Times (August 23, 2010), which followed up:

“We began discussions with ISRO's commercial arm Antrix in 2003… The deal was first approved by the Antrix board, which had ISRO chairman, representatives from the Department of Space as well as eminent external independent members such as Ratan Tata. It was then approved by the Space Commission, whose members include Cabinet Secretary, Minister of State for Science and Technology, the National Security Advisor as well as the ISRO chairman. In 2005, the Union Cabinet also approved the deal. So, at every stage, our agreement with ISRO was approved and it was only after that we commenced the programme to develop satellite-based internet services.”

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