jio: Reliance Jio arm applies for satellite communication services licence

Reliance Jio Infocomm’s recently fashioned satellite unit has applied to the Department of Telecommunications for world-wide cellular private communication by satellite services (GMPCS) licence, getting to be the second telecom company after Bharti Airtel to throw its hat in the nascent Indian satcom ring.

Jio Satellite Communications Ltd (JSCL) was incorporated a pair of months in the past, marking the Mukesh Ambani-led telco’s official entry into the phase where by it will compete with Bharti Team backed-OneWeb, Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Challenge Kuiper and the Tata-Telesat merge for a share of the new age broadband-from-place section.

Jio’s entry was greatly predicted as the telco place throughout robust views these days around the method of allocation of satellite spectrum, satellite gateway operations and the alternative of airwave bands at several fora. But this is the to start with official shift by its satellite arm to pitch for a comprehensive-blown satellite expert services permit.

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“JSCL is very likely to lease or resell satellite bandwidth potential to supply mobile backhaul connectivity products and services to telcos in India’s rural or remote corners wherever cellular broadband connectivity is weak,” a human being conscious of the issue informed ET on condition of anonymity.

Jio’s new satellite arm may well also be open to presenting satellite broadband companies to potential consumers in other sector verticals these as aviation and maritime, explained just one of the folks.

Jio did not answer to queries till press time.

Until now, only OneWeb has applied for a GMPCS licence, for its companies leveraging the firm’s lower-earth orbit (LEO) global satellite constellations. But it is still to get the allow.

OneWeb designs to launch broadband-from-house providers in India’s rural and remote areas by mid-2022. Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd – a 67: 33 JV concerning US-based Hughes and Bharti Airtel – will distribute OneWeb’s satellite products and services in India.

The India start of Musk’s Starlink – at first prepared also in 2022 – continues to be unsure in the aftermath of the DoT and the telecom regulator just lately rebuking the US firm’s Indian arm for using pre-bookings without any licence or authorisation to offer satellite broadband products and services in the country. Subsequently, Starlink’s India head, Sanjay Bhargava quit and the firm has still to name a successor.

Jeff Bezos-led Amazon is also regarded to be eyeing the rising satellite broadband current market in India as aspect of its world wide place net initiative, Venture Kuiper. Tata team enterprise Nelco has declared options to spouse with Canadian satellite player Telesat to launch satellite broadband companies in India underneath the latter’s ‘Lightspeed’ brand by about 2024.

Industry experts see India as a important rising current market for broadband from house expert services with an more than $1 billion around-time period yearly revenue prospect. E&Y estimates that India’s satellite services market place would improve to $4.7 billion by 2025 considering the fact that nearly 75% of rural India does not have access to broadband as several locations are even now without cellular or fibre connectivity.

Analysts say that utilizing satellites to enhance cellular broadband coverage in rural locations where there aren’t plenty of cellular towers or terrestrial backhaul hyperlinks by way of fibre networks could be a huge cash spinner in a B2B circumstance. The somewhat nascent broadband-from-house section has by now develop into a new battleground between Jio and other satellite operators.

In recent submissions to Trai, Jio urged the regulator to recommend spectrum allocations by way of auctions alone for setting up and running satellite gateways. It stated that such a transfer would also comply with the ‘same company, very same rules’ basic principle. Jio also reported its suggestion would be in action with the Supreme Court’s 2012 verdict that backed airwaves allocation by using auctions. Jio’s stance, however, is straight in conflict with those of world wide satellite broadband operators such as Amazon, OneWeb, Hughes Communications and Telesat who have backed administrative allocation of these airwaves in step with global techniques.

Extra just lately, Jio also locked horns with world wide satellite players in excess of auctioning of the coveted 28 GHz mmWave spectrum, presently employed exclusively by satellite gamers but viewed as tremendous-effective for 5G cellular broadband providers as well.

Jio has urged the sector regulator to make 28 GHz spectrum absolutely available for 5G products and services. This much too was resisted by world satellite operators who cautioned that any allocation of quality 28 GHz spectrum for 5G providers would hinder satellite operations and guide to protection gaps.