Reliance Jio-SES Joint Venture Receives Green Light for Satellite Operations

Reliance Industries' Jio Platforms, in partnership with Luxembourg's SES, has secured approval to launch satellites for their new venture providing internet services
satellite-based high-speed internet
satellite-based high-speed internet

Reliance Industries' Jio Platform, in partnership with Luxembourg-based SES, has received approval from the Indian space regulator to operate satellites. Their joint venture, Orbit Connect India, is all set to offer satellite-based high-speed internet.

As per a report by Reuters, this approval puts them in the race with big names like Amazon and Elon Musk's Starlink, who are also eager to launch satellite communication services in the world's most populous country.

The authorisations, which hadn't been reported until now, were granted in April and June by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe). These permits allow Orbit Connect to operate satellites over India. However, additional approvals from the country's Department of Telecommunications are required to start operations.

Inmarsat has also received the go-ahead to operate satellites over India, according to IN-SPACe chairman Pawan Goenka. While, Elon Musk's Starlink and Amazon's Kuiper are still waiting for approvals.

Meanwhile, Eutelsat's Bharti Enterprises-backed OneWeb received all necessary approvals late last year.

According to Deloitte, India's satellite broadband service market is projected to grow by 36 per cent annually over the next five years, reaching $1.9 billion by 2030.

There's a growing push to provide internet access to rural areas using satellites, globally. Amazon's plan to invest $10 billion in its Kuiper project, launched in 2019, coincides with SpaceX's rollout of its first operational Starlink satellites that same year.

Goenka noted that increased participation by companies in India's satellite internet sector would ultimately benefit consumers. "Comparatively low pricing of communication services in India will compel global players to drive innovation to reduce their pricing," said Goenka, who is also the former managing director of automaker Mahindra & Mahindra.

"This is already being done in many industries like automotive, where multinational OEMs had to innovate to meet the expectations of Indian consumers of high performance and low cost," he added.

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