Reliance Jio Platforms’ JV receives approval from IN-SPACe to launch satellite internet in India

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A joint venture between Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms and Luxembourg-based SES has received the approval from Indian space regulator, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), to operate satellites in the country. 

The approvals were issued to Orbit Connect India that will provide satellite-based high-speed internet access. This development comes amid attempts by Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon to receive similar approvals for satellite communication services. 

According to a report in Reuters, the authorisation, granted in April and June from IN-SPACe, were not previously reported. While the regulator has given approval to the joint venture to operate satellites above India, the department of telecoms needs to give its go-ahead too for the operations to commence. 

IN-SPACe chairman Pawan Goenka told the news agency that another company, Inmarsat, that hopes to provide high-speed satellite internet has also received the approval. Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper have applied as well. Bharti Enterprises-backed OneWeb received the approvals late last year. 

Goenka said that the more companies that are involved in the sector, the better off the consumers would be. He said comparative low pricing of communication services would compel global players to drive innovation to reduce their pricing. 

Goenka said many multinational OEMs had to innovate to meet the expectations of Indian consumers of high performance and low cost. He said that IN-SPACe would soon authorise private companies to operate ground stations, which would enable satellite operators to download data as they pass over India. 

Musk’s Starlink had received preliminary approval in Sri Lanka to provide internet services there. 

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