QDA solutions adhere to prevailing telecom regulations

QDA, or Quick Deployment Antenna, is an emergency connectivity tool that is reshaping communication maps in critical times and challenging areas where outreach is difficult but crucial.

VoicenData Bureau
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QDA, or Quick Deployment Antenna, is an emergency connectivity tool that is reshaping communication maps in critical times and challenging areas where outreach is difficult but crucial. Notably, Hughes has recently intensified its efforts in emergency communication networks through satellite connectivity, particularly in the realm of QDA. This is further bolstered by what it terms a “made-in-India” technology, providing dependable and swiftly deployable communication solutions for rapid field deployment and timely information gathering within 15 minutes. How feasible is it to ensure seamless communication channels even amidst crises when traditional connectivity is lacking? Shivaji Chatterjee, President and Managing Director of Hughes Communications India (HCI), provides insights from the front lines for a closer examination. In an interview with Pratima Harigunani, he elaborates on its ties with Satcom, miniaturisation, and terrestrial networks. Excerpt:


Explain QDA to the uninitiated and what makes it faster to deploy and use.

Quick Deploy Antenna or QDA, as the term suggests, is one of the quickest ways to enable connectivity at any location for both strategic and general communication purposes. QDA solutions typically comprise lightweight hardware, including an antenna and an outdoor VSAT, along with essential accessories. The QDA modem features built-in Wifi and auto-sense mobility, enabling installation by any trained individual in under 20 minutes. Once installed, QDA ensures seamless and reliable satellite connectivity, capable of achieving multi-Mbps network speeds. HCIs QDA provides dependable and interoperable communication solutions with adaptable ranges suitable for various environments.

Are there any specific challenges in India regarding configuration, spectrum, permissions, latency, mobility, capacity, concurrency of usage, etc.? How do you ensure reliability, interoperability, range, QoS, network efficiency, congestion management, security against cyber-attacks, and transmission?


Our systems prioritise quality of service and data, ensuring efficient network utilisation and congestion management. Additionally, they incorporate security features such as encryption and authentication to fortify against cyber threats, while optimised transmission techniques maintain reliable data delivery. Furthermore, the QDA’s form factor provides a notable advantage. Packaged in a uniquely designed carrying case that is crush-proof, rugged, and watertight, the entire QDA solution, along with its accessories, remains safeguarded during transportation.

"The National Disaster Response Force, NDRF has successfully utilised Hughes QDA during earthquake relief operations in India, Nepal, and Turkey."

All QDA solutions adhere to prevailing telecom regulations and licensing prerequisites, typically managed by the service provider, including those offered by Hughes. The QDA solution from Hughes has garnered interest across segments in India and has been successfully deployed in various situations involving emergency communication, disaster management, satellite news gathering, as well as security for business operations.


Are they adaptive and do they use AI for customisation, dynamic adjustments, optimisation etc.?

QDA solutions are designed to be adaptive and they are capable of incorporating customisation, dynamic adjustments, and optimisation to enhance performance and effectively adapt to changing conditions.

Where has the company demonstrated QDA in India so far? Are there any examples from disaster management, field hospitals, ambulances, mobility, law and order, etc.?


HCI’s QDA has garnered widespread praise for its effectiveness across various operational scenarios. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has successfully utilised Hughes QDA during earthquake relief operations in India, Nepal, and Turkey, earning high acclaim. QDA solutions have also proven instrumental in supporting police and security forces during operations in the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh, contributing to maintaining law and order effectively in the regions.

Additionally, in Ladakh, four strategically positioned QDAs serve as vital communication assets during natural disasters, aiding rescue and relief efforts. Furthermore, HCI’s contributions to disaster management and law enforcement in Odisha include QDA terminals provided to the Fire Department, improving response times and operational efficiency during fire incidents, thereby minimising loss of lives. Overall, these diverse use cases underscore the growing interest in QDA solutions, highlighting their invaluable contribution and effectiveness across critical operations.

How amenable is QDA for business users? Can you share any industrial pilots or concepts that the company has implemented?


QDA is a versatile solution that can be deployed to address the communication needs of industrial applications. In recent years, we have witnessed a growing level of interest among enterprise users across various segments, including telecom, banking, and media, among others.

We have already executed a range of successful deployments, with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) adopting QDA solutions to extend connectivity to remote areas, thereby enhancing communication and infrastructure development. Additionally, Jammu & Kashmir Bank has incorporated QDAs for mobile ATM services, showcasing the platform’s versatility. Most recently, we have provided a QDA solution to a national media agency, catering to their unique requirement for supporting connectivity for live streaming from remote locations and high-security zones.

Does QDA complement terrestrial networks effectively?


Quick deployment antennas serve as independent communication networks, providing connectivity in remote locations while also complementing existing terrestrial networks to enhance overall connectivity. QDA can seamlessly integrate with terrestrial infrastructure, extending coverage and improving connectivity, particularly in areas where traditional networks encounter challenges.

Packaged in a crush-proof carrying case, which is rugged and watertight, the QDA solution, along with its accessories, remains safeguarded during transportation.

Are there any convergence issues? Can it also be considered for expanding terrestrial coverage beyond emergency use cases?


QDA is designed to operate independently or in tandem with terrestrial networks, depending on specific needs. Integration procedures may differ based on factors such as network protocols, bandwidth allocation, and geographical conditions. However, with careful planning and configuration, convergence issues can be effectively resolved, ensuring seamless interoperability between QDA and terrestrial networks. Moreover, QDA’s adaptability accommodates various communication requirements, including voice, data, and multimedia services, thereby enhancing its suitability for expanding terrestrial coverage beyond emergency scenarios.

Will QDA have a role to play in Satcom networks?

The QDA plays a crucial role within satellite communication or Satcom networks, leveraging its rapid deployment capabilities across various applications. In disaster management scenarios, the QDA swiftly establishes vital satellite communication links, providing emergency responders with an efficient and reliable means of coordination and information exchange, especially in areas where traditional infrastructure may be compromised.

Its adaptability extends to remote and challenging terrains, making it a go-to solution for satellite communication in locations where establishing conventional connectivity is logistically challenging. This capability is particularly beneficial for industries involved in mining, land exploration, and scientific research, ensuring seamless communication and data transmission in otherwise hard-to-reach environments.

What is the relevance and progress of the Jupiter series in this context?

The Jupiter Series of Basebands and modems provides high-capacity options with Gbps data handling capabilities. When integrated with QDA and with the advent of HTS footprints on GSAT-11 and GSAT-29, Jupiter modems will offer multi-Mbps upload traffic, which is highly beneficial for Satcom services. Additionally, the modems support location updates every time the QDA moves from one location to another.

How crucial are certifications like the one from TEC that the company received?

Certifications such as the one from the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) are incredibly important and provide a strong validation of the quality and reliability of our products. This mandatory certification not only demonstrates our commitment to adhering to industry standards and regulations but also ensures that our products meet the requirements for performance and safety. This not only helps build greater confidence among our customer base but also opens up opportunities for participation in government-backed projects.

QDA solutions have proven instrumental in supporting police and security forces during operations in the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh.

We are actively working to extend TEC certification to more of our products, ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of delivering innovative, high-quality connectivity solutions tailored to the needs of the Indian market.

What is the company’s roadmap for Satcom in India? What are the plans for 2024?

We are very excited about the potential growth of Satcom services in India. The deployment of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and advancements in global Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations have significantly increased available capacity, opening up new opportunities across sectors such as defence, aviation, maritime, and government. Additionally, we are also collaborating with multiple partners, including ISRO and OneWeb, to strategically expand our service offerings for enterprise customers and enable connectivity across previously underserved areas, fostering new opportunities and advancements for the nation.

How does miniaturisation in network equipment and satellites affect QDA?

The trend towards smaller and lighter network components represents a significant boon for the QDA. It greatly enhances its portability and mobility. By capitalising on compact satellites, the QDA can be swiftly and efficiently deployed across various scenarios, perfectly aligning with its mission to deliver rapid communication solutions. Besides, this miniaturisation also boosts the QDA’s versatility, allowing it to adapt seamlessly to diverse environments, ranging from disaster management to military operations.

Furthermore, the efficiency gains associated with smaller satellites have the potential to contribute to heightened performance and reliability, thereby solidifying the QDA’s role in establishing robust communication links. Ultimately, this evolution in network equipment and satellite design will not only enhance the effectiveness of the QDA but also position it as a cost-effective solution for on-the-go satellite communication needs.

Shivaji Chatterjee

President & Managing Director, Hughes Communications India

By Pratima H