Reliance Jio Takes A Big Leap In Satellite Internet Race Against Tesla- Details

The Indian satellite internet market is rapidly becoming a hotbed of competition, with Inmarsat also securing approval to operate satellites over India.
Jio, Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, Satellite Internet, Reliance Jio, India

Reliance Jio Takes A Big Leap In Satellite Internet Race Against Tesla- Details (image source: Times Now Digital)

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Jio Platforms has made a major advancement in providing satellite internet services in India. A joint venture between Jio Platforms and Luxembourg-based SES, aimed at offering gigabit fibre internet, has received crucial approvals from the Indian space regulator, Reuters reported citing the sources close to the matter.

Regulatory Green Light for Orbit Connect India

The approvals were granted to Orbit Connect India, a venture designed to deliver satellite-based high-speed internet access. This approval marks a significant milestone for Jio Platforms as it competes in a burgeoning market where giants like Amazon and Elon Musk's Starlink are also vying for entry. According to the report, the authorizations came from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in April and June, permitting Orbit Connect to operate satellites above India. While these approvals are pivotal, additional clearances are required before operations can commence fully.

Competitive Landscape and Market Impact

The Indian satellite internet market is rapidly becoming a hotbed of competition, with Inmarsat also securing approval to operate satellites over India. IN-SPACe Chairman Pawan Goenka noted that increased participation from global companies would benefit Indian consumers. He highlighted that the relatively low pricing of communication services in India would push global players to innovate and reduce their prices. "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," Goenka explained.

Starlink and Kuiper in the Race

Elon Musk's Starlink and Amazon.com's Kuiper have also applied for approvals to launch their satellite communication services in India. This influx of applications underscores the lucrative potential of the Indian satellite internet market. According to Deloitte, the satellite broadband service market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 36 per cent per year over the next five years, reaching an estimated value of $1.9 billion by 2030. This growth projection highlights the significant opportunity for both domestic and international players in the industry.

Strategic Implications for Jio Platforms

The approval for Orbit Connect India positions Jio Platforms strategically within the satellite internet market. By leveraging its partnership with SES, Jio aims to tap into the growing demand for high-speed internet across India's diverse and often underserved regions. This move aligns with Jio's broader strategy to dominate the digital services landscape in India, building on its success in the mobile network and broadband sectors.
While the initial regulatory approvals are a promising start, Jio Platforms and its partners still face several challenges before they can begin full-scale operations. Further regulatory clearances, infrastructure development, and technological innovations will be critical in turning their satellite internet ambitions into reality. Additionally, the competitive pressures from global giants like Starlink and Kuiper will necessitate continuous innovation and strategic agility.
(Inputs from Reuters)
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