According to Deloitte, India’s satellite broadband market is set to grow 36% a year to reach a value of $1.9 billion by 2030

Reliance Jio has announced the launch of its satellite broadband service, which promises to provide even the most remote areas of the country with gigabit speeds. 

The service, named JioSpaceFiber, was demonstrated by Jio last week at India Mobile Congress. In a related announcement, the company claimed that the service will “be available across the length and breadth of the country at highly affordable prices”. 

“With JioSpaceFiber, we expand our reach to cover the millions yet to be connected,” said Akash Ambani, Chairman Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. “JioSpaceFiber will allow everyone, everywhere, to fully participate in the new digital society with gigabit access to online government, education, health, and entertainment services.” 

The service is delivered via medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites owned by SES, which the firm claims is the “the only MEO constellation capable of delivering truly unique Gigabit, fibre-like services from space.” 

The project has been ongoing since February last year, when Jio Platforms (Jio’s network infrastructure division) formed a joint venture with SES named Jio Space Technology Limited. Jio has a 51% stake in the business, while SES holds the remaining 49%. 

“Together with Jio, we are honoured to support the Government of India’s Digital India initiative with a unique solution that aims at delivering multiple gigabits per second of throughput to any location in India,” said SES’ chief strategy officer John-Paul Hemingway.  

“Our first fibre-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. 

JioSpaceFiber could soon face competition from Elon Musks’ Starlink. Back in 2021, Starlink was found to have been taking pre-orders from Indian customers for its satellite services, without having first obtained a Global Mobile Personal Communication (GMPC) license from the Indian government. Starlink had sold around 5,000 pre-orders of “Dishy McFlatface“ Starlink terminals and was subsequently reprimanded by the government and ordered to return the deposits. 

SpaceX submitted an official license proposal for Starlink late last year.  

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