Reliance Jio announces its Satellite Internet service in partnership with SES: Here’s how it could work

Jio Space Technology Limited could function much like Elon Musk’s Starlink service.

Reliance is expanding into the satellite internet business too through its Jio arm. The newly announced Jio Space Technology Limited has entered into a multi-year contract with Luxembourgish satellite and network provider SES. The deal which is reportedly worth around $100 million could offer internet speeds up to 100Gbps to the Indian users once it’s functional. Also, something worth noting is that in this new venture, Jio and SES could have a 51:49 stake.

In a joint statement, both brands, said, “The joint venture will be the vehicle for providing SES’s satellite data and connectivity services in India, except for certain international aeronautical and maritime customers who may be served by SES. It will have availability of up to 100Gbps capacity from SES and will leverage Jio’s premiere position and sales reach in India to unlock this market opportunity. Jio, as an anchor customer of the joint venture, has entered into a multi-year capacity purchase agreement, based on certain milestones along with gateways and equipment purchase with total contract value of circa $100 million (roughly Rs. 750 crore).”

Business-speak aside, here’s how the underlying tech could work:

Reliance Jio Satellite Internet: How it would work

In a loose sense, think satellite internet like satellite TVs you may be familiar with, the key difference being that the former involves both sending and receiving of data, while the latter does require only receiving the signals. 

For the satellite internet to work, you’d need a satellite dish (fixed on the roof of someplace under the clear sky), WiFi router/modem, cables (for the dish, power, and the router), and mounting thingies. 

The setup process shouldn’t be that tough, at least its popular counterpart from Starlink apparently isn’t.

Reliance Jio announces its Satellite Internet service in partnership with SES: Here’s how it could work

Once everything is up and running, the internet is beamed (via radio waves, laser, or some other means) straight from the satellite in space. Jio claims the use of multi-orbit space networks, along with geostationary (GEO), and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations in this process.

This to-and-fro data could be routed through network operations centers (NOC).

The proposed internet speed by Jio is up to 100Gbps. Meanwhile, Starlink’s solution boasts up to 300Gbps. 

That’s satellite internet in a nutshell. We will have to wait for Jio to disclose more details about how its service in particular would work. Also, the price and availability details are yet to surface. So, we may have to wait for that too.

For now, Jio Director Akash Ambani has said, “while we continue to expand our fibre-based connectivity and FTTH business and invest in 5G, this new joint venture with SES will further accelerate the growth of multigigabit broadband. With additional coverage and capacity offered by satellite communications services, Jio will be able to connect the remotest towns and villages, enterprises, government establishments, and consumers to the new Digital India.”

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