Citing the potential of satellite-based broadband service, Reliance Jio has announced to launch its own satellite internet service in India to take on Elon Musk’s Starlink project. The Indian telecom giant recently partnered with Luxembourg-based telecom company SES, in which it acquired 51% of the equity share to become an anchor customer of the joint venture and bring satellite-based broadband service in India.
Reliance Jio to Launch Satellite-based Broadband Service in India
Reliance Jio announced to launch its satellite-based broadband service in India as part of its Jio Space Technology joint venture project with SES. The company says that the service will be able to deliver multi-gigabit links and capacity to retail customers and enterprises in India with a maximum speed of 100Gbps.
The service, which is currently unnamed, will leverage a combination of geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites to deliver a high-speed internet connection to its customers. With this, Jio aims to take on Elon Musk’s Starlink service, which is struggling to establish its roots in India.
“As part of [the] investment plan, the joint venture will develop extensive gateway infrastructure in India to provide services within the country. Jio, as an anchor customer of the joint venture, has entered into a multi-year capacity purchase agreement, based on certain milestones along with gateways and equipment purchase with [a] total contract value of circa [the] US $100 million,” Jio reportedly said in a statement.
After launching the service in beta back in 2020, Starlink debuted in India last year. Although the service can deliver high download speeds to users, Starlink had to halt its operations in India and refund pre-registered customers after the government issued a warning against the company for a licensing issue. Furthermore, the company faced major setbacks as its country head resigned from the position earlier this year. The company aimed to establish 200,000 terminals in India by the end of this year.
So, it will be interesting to see which company can establish its position in the satellite-based broadband sector in India first. However, it is worth mentioning that Reliance Jio has an upper hand in this department as the company has a strong foothold in India. Plus, we recently saw Jio surpass BSNL to become the largest wired broadband service in the country. Hence, the focus on satellite-based broadband service is a logical step for the company’s expansion in its home country.
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