Mumbai: Reliance Jio Infocomm unveiled a satellite broadband service on Friday as Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani seeks to broaden internet access to the remotest corners of India, muscling into a sector where billionaires Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Sunil Mittal’s OneWeb also have ambitious plans.
India’s largest wireless operator demonstrated JioSpaceFiber on Friday at an industry conference in New Delhi and said in a statement that this will help deliver high-speed internet across the country “at highly affordable prices,” Reliance Jio said in a statement.
The company, which didn’t share any pricing details or give a timeline for the commercial roll out of the services, will be using SES’s medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology.
“With JioSpaceFiber, we expand our reach to cover the millions yet to be connected,” said Akash Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio. The wireless operator is a unit of Reliance Industries, helmed by Akash’s father and Asia’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani.
The oil-to-retail conglomerate formed a joint venture with Luxembourg-based SES in 2022 to offer satellite broadband connectivity, plugging the only big missing link in Reliance’s massive telecom infrastructure that includes a deep optic fiber footprint across India.
Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian telecom space in 2016 with free calls and cheap data plans, forcing rivals to match pricing and bleed loses or quit. Adding satellite broadband to its robust infrastructure will also help the operator bolster its e-commerce, streaming entertainment and financial services offerings.