Reliance Jio's satellite arm gets governmental nod for broadband-from-space services
Jio Satellite Communications Ltd. (JSCL), the satellite unit of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm, has received a letter of intent (LoI) from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), according to industry sources. The LoI allows the company to set up global mobile personal communication by satellite (GMPCS). The company applied for a license earlier this year. As per sources, the LoI was issued on Monday.
Why does this story matter?
- Broadband-from-space is the future of telecom market. With global tech giants battling each other to be at the forefront of this race, India is not lagging.
- In a country like India where access to broadband is still problematic in most rural areas, satellite-based broadband has a huge potential.
- Experts estimate India's satellite services market to grow to $4.7 billion in 2025 from zero now.
Jio has to now agree to terms and conditions
With permission from the DoT, Jio's satellite arm will be able to establish and operate GMPCS service in areas where it has the license to do so. To get the license, Jio has to agree to the terms and conditions and deposit a bank guarantee amounting to Rs. 1 crore after the LoI issuance. The license will be valid for 20 years.
Jio will use multi-orbit satellites to provide the service
JSCL is the second company to receive DoT approval to provide broadband services. Offerings under GMPCS also include voice services via satellite. Earlier this year, Jio Platforms formed a joint venture called Jio Space Technology Ltd. with Luxembourg-based SES, a satellite communications company. Jio Space Technology will use multi-orbit space networks using low-Earth orbit, medium Earth orbit, and Geosynchronous satellites to provide satcom services.
Competition is intensifying in India's broadband-from-space segment
Broadband-from-space is a relatively nascent segment in India, but the intensity of the competition will tell you otherwise. Sunil Mittal's OneWeb was the first to get DoT approval to provide the service. Apart from OneWeb and Jio, Nelco, a Tata Group satcom company, and Canada's Telesat are also looking to launch satellite-based broadband in India. SpaceX and Amazon's Project Kuiper have also shown interest.