As Elon Musk’s Starlink tries to gain traction in India, Jio introduces its own satellite-based broadband service
Reliance Jio said on Monday that it will deploy satellite-based internet services across India in collaboration with SES, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications business. Jio Space Technology Limited, a joint venture, will lead the development of broadband services by combining geostationary (GEO) and middle earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations. Jio stated that the broadband service will be capable of providing multi-gigabit connections and capacity to companies, mobile backhaul, and retail users at a max speed of 100Gbps.’
Although Jio’s new satellite-based broadband provider has yet to be named, it poses a challenge to Elon Musk’s Starlink, which is trying to find a route into the homes of India’s internet customers. Musk’s Starlink began collecting pre-orders in India last year, but due to government action surrounding licencing of its internet services, the firm was forced to suspend its market debut. Following the blow, Starlink was forced to return the pre-order money to concerned users, who were equally dissatisfied by the government’s move.
Although Starlink has yet to be formally launched in India, it has provided the required incentive for India’s own internet service providers to follow the satellite-based broadband technology area in the battle to win it first. Airtel earlier announced a partnership with Hughes Communications India to deliver satellite internet services in India. Jio is the most recent arrival into this market.
Jio Space Technology, the joint venture, will use SES-12, SES’s high-throughput GEO satellite for India, and O3b mPOWER, SES’s MEO constellation, to extend and improve Jio’s terrestrial network, “enhancing access to online services and applications.” However, although the new partnership will focus on satellite internet, Jio will continue to work on expanding Jio’s fibre-based connectivity and FTTH business. Investment in 5G development will also continue, according to Akash Ambani, Jio’s director.