Reliance Jio announces JioSpaceFiber to provide satellite-based broadband

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Reliance Jio has announced India’s first satellite-based giga fiber service to provide high-speed broadband to previously inaccessible geographies within the country. Reliance Jio Infocomm Chairman Akash Ambani showcased the JioSpaceFiber technology to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the seventh edition of the India Mobile Congress on Friday.


The move will intensify the race to provide satellite broadband services in India, with JiosSpaceFiber set to compete with Bharti-backed- satcom operator OneWeb.


Jio has partnered with a Luxembourg-based satellite telecommunications network provider that supplies video and data connectivity worldwide to offer the service.


With the satellite network also supporting additional capacity for mobile backhaul, JioSpaceFiber will further enhance the availability and scale of Jio True5G in the remotest parts of the country at highly affordable prices, the company said in a release.


“Jio is partnering with SES to access the world’s latest in medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology, the only MEO constellation capable of delivering truly unique Gigabit, fiber-like services from space,” it said.

To demonstrate its power and reach, Jio said four of the remotest locations in India have already been connected with JioSpaceFiber. These include Gir in Gujarat, Korba in Chattisgarh, Nabrangpur in Odissa and an installation of national oil company ONGC in Jorhat, Assam.


With Jio now having access to a combination of SES’s O3b and new O3b mPOWER satellites, it has laid claims to be the only company that offers game-changing technology, providing scalable and affordable broadband across all of India with a level of guaranteed reliability and service flexibility that is a first in the industry. 


“Jio has enabled millions of homes and businesses in India to experience broadband internet for the first time. With JioSpaceFiber, we expand our reach to cover the millions yet to be connected,” said Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, said. The company currently delivers high-speed broadband fixed line and wireless services to over 450 million consumers. 


Ambani stressed the service will allow everyone, everywhere, to fully participate in the new digital society with gigabit access to online government, education, health, and entertainment services.


“Our first fiber-like services from space are already deployed today in parts of India, and we cannot wait to see how this will lead to digital transformation even in the most rural parts of the country,” John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy Officer at SES said. 


The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already granted Oneweb and Reliance Jio’s satellite arm Jio Space Limited the Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Services (GMPCS) licence needed to offer satellite-based broadband services in India. 


An application from Starlink, the satellite internet constellation operated by US tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is in the final stages of being considered. Amazon’s Project Kuiper is also set to submit its application soon.

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