Reliance Jio Awaits Approval for Satellite Services Launch

Reliance Jio is on the verge of obtaining crucial approvals from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) this month, paving the way for the telecom giant to introduce satellite-based gigabit fiber services in India. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Jio has completed all necessary submissions to IN-SPACe, and the anticipated landing rights and market access authorizations are imminent. These approvals are essential for deploying global satellite bandwidth capacity in the country.

The IN-SPACe authorization process involves navigating through multiple ministries and obtaining security clearances, making it a complex procedure. While responding to queries about Jio’s satcom venture, Pawan Goenka, Chairman of IN-SPACe, refrained from commenting on specific companies but mentioned that several applications for IN-SPACe authorizations are currently in the pipeline.


Jio Platforms, in collaboration with Luxembourg-based satcoms player SES, established a 51:49 joint venture last year to deliver broadband connectivity via satellites. This move puts Jio in competition with global players such as Eutelsat OneWeb, Starlink by Elon Musk, Amazon, and the Tatas, who have also expressed their intent to enter the satcoms market.

Jio’s satellite arm has already been granted a GMPCS (global mobile personal communications by satellite services) license by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), but the awaited authorizations from IN-SPACe are crucial for further progress. Notably, Eutelsat OneWeb, backed by Bharti, is the only global satellite constellation operator to have received the necessary approvals from IN-SPACe.

Despite unanswered queries to Reliance Jio, both Eutelsat OneWeb and the Jio-SES collaboration aim to gain a competitive edge in the emerging India satcoms market, which holds substantial growth potential. Jio’s President, Mathew Oommen, recently stated that the satellite services unit could roll out JioSpaceFiber services within weeks of obtaining the spectrum.

The recently enacted Telecommunications Act of 2023 provides legislative support for satellite spectrum allocation through the administrative route, potentially expediting the assignment of these airwaves by DoT. IN-SPACe estimates suggest that India’s space economy could reach $44 billion by 2033, accounting for approximately 8% of the global share.

Satellite-based broadband services in India are anticipated to target underserved areas, particularly in rural and remote regions with limited or no access to high-speed internet through traditional terrestrial broadband solutions. The impending approvals for Reliance Jio represent a significant development in the evolving landscape of satellite communication services in the country.

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