Indian digital service provider Jio Platforms and SES, a global satellite-based content connectivity solutions provider, are the latest companies to target the Indian satellite communications market with the formation of a joint venture called Jio Space Technology Limited.
The new company aims to deliver next-generation scalable and affordable broadband services in India leveraging satellite technology. Jio Platforms and SES will own 51% and 49% equity stakes in the joint venture respectively.
The joint venture will use multi-orbit space networks – 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.
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 what is described as Jio’s premiere position and sales reach in India. As part of the investment plan, the joint venture will develop extensive gateway infrastructure in India to provide services within the country.
Jio has entered into a multi-year capacity purchase agreement, based on certain milestones along with gateways and equipment purchases with a total contract value of about US$100 million.
The partners say that 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.
As India’s Economic Times points out, this joint venture comes hard on the heels of Reliance Jio’s formation of a satellite unit, Jio Satellite Communications, not to mention ventures by other companies such as the Bharti-backed OneWeb, Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and the Tata-Telesat company, all positioning themselves to make the most of what is clearly seen as a potentially lucrative market.