Reliance Jio Platforms And European Telco SES Form Joint Venture To Provide Satellite Broadband Services Across India

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Feb 14, 2022 04:25 PM +05:30 IST
Reliance Jio Platforms And European Telco SES Form Joint Venture To Provide Satellite Broadband Services Across IndiaMukesh Ambani and Jio logo. (Swarajya Magazine)
Snapshot
  • As part of the investment strategy, the joint venture will develop extensive gateway infrastructure in India to provide services within the country.

Jio Platforms Limited (JPL) and SES, a leading global satellite-based content connectivity solutions provider, have formed a joint venture — Jio Space Technology Limited — to deliver the next generation “scalable and affordable” broadband services in India, according to Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

Jio Platforms will hold 51 per cent of the joint venture, while the Luxembourg-based SES will possess 49 per cent that operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency medium Earth orbit O3b system.

In a news release, RIL stated that multi-orbit space networks, which are a combination of geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations capable of delivering multi-gigabit links and capacity to enterprises, mobile backhaul, and retail customers across India and neighbouring regions, will be used by the joint venture.

It is also said that except for select international aeronautical and maritime customers who may be served by SES, the joint venture will be the vehicle for providing SES satellite data and communication services in India. SES is expected to provide up to 100 Gbps of bandwidth and Jio's leading position, as well as sales reach in India will be used to capitalise on this market opportunity.

According to RIL, this joint venture would create substantial gateway infrastructure in the country as part of its investment strategy to supply services throughout India. Jio, as the joint venture's anchor customer, has signed a multi-year capacity purchase deal based on specified milestones, as well as gateway and equipment purchases, for a total contract value of around $100 million (over Rs 700 crore).

SES-12, the European telecom company's high-throughput GEO satellite servicing India and O3b mPOWER, SES's next-generation MEO constellation, will be used to extend and complement Jio's terrestrial network, allowing more people to access digital services and apps. The joint venture is also expected to receive managed services and gateway infrastructure operations from Jio.

“This joint venture will be a catalyst for connecting the unconnected areas within India and the region to the full range of digital services, offering access to remote health, government services, and distance learning opportunities,” the release added.

The joint venture also supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 'Gati Shakti: National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity' project, which aims to deliver integrated and seamless connectivity by deploying a variety of infrastructure. As per RIL, it will also help to fulfil the ‘Connect India’ goals set out in the 2018 National Digital Communications Policy and the Digital India initiative by bringing broadband to Indian citizens across the country.

However, Steve Collar, who is the chief executive officer of SES said: “This joint venture with JPL is a great example of how SES can complement even the most extensive terrestrial networks to deliver high-quality connectivity, and positively affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people. We look forward to this joint venture whereby we can play a role in promoting digital inclusion in India.”

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