io Reaches for the Stars: Satellite Internet Approval Imminent, Report Says

Reliance Jio is on the verge of a significant development in its satellite communication venture. The company is awaiting crucial authorizations from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), which are essential for deploying its satellite-based gigabit fibre services in India. The approval process is complex, requiring multiple clearances from various ministries.

In a strategic move last year, Jio Platforms and Luxembourg-based satellite communications provider SES formed a joint venture to deliver broadband connectivity via satellites. This venture positions Jio to compete with other players such as Eutelsat OneWeb, Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon, and the Tatas, who are also entering the Indian satellite communications market.

The authorizations from IN-SPACe are mandatory for deploying global satellite bandwidth capacity in India. Jio’s satellite division has already been granted a Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite Services (GMPCS) license by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). However, the authorizations from IN-SPACe are still pending.

Jio’s president, Mathew Oommen, stated that they could roll out JioSpaceFiber services within weeks of receiving the spectrum. The new Telecommunications Act of 2023 is expected to streamline the spectrum allocation process, potentially expediting Jio’s service rollout.

Satellite-based broadband services in India aim to cater to areas that are currently underserved by traditional terrestrial broadband solutions, including rural and remote regions with limited or no access to high-speed internet.

Jio’s entry into the satellite communication market is seen as a step towards revolutionizing broadband connectivity in India, particularly in underserved rural and remote areas. The Indian space economy is projected to grow significantly, with estimates suggesting it could hit $44 billion by 2033, accounting for about 8% of the global share.

As the race for satellite-based internet services in India heats up, Jio’s competitors are also making significant strides. Bharti-backed Eutelsat OneWeb has already received the necessary approvals from IN-SPACe, and other global players are actively pursuing opportunities in this emerging market.



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