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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

OneWeb vs JioSpaceFiber: Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel to battle for satcom supremacy

Both Mittal and Reliance Jio Infocomm chairman Akash Ambani said their satellite communications services will be able to provide connectivity to all the remote areas of the country, including previously inaccessible terrains

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 28.10.23, 10:38 AM
PM Narendra Modi and Sunil Mittal (right) at the India Mobile Congress in New Delhi on Friday.

PM Narendra Modi and Sunil Mittal (right) at the India Mobile Congress in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

India's top two telcos Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are set to fight it out in the satellite communications (satcom) space.

Jio on Friday said at the India Mobile Congress here it has successfully carried out demonstrations of JioSpaceFiber, its satellite broadband service.

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Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said at the congress its OneWeb satellite communication service is ready to connect all parts of the country from next month.

Both Mittal and Reliance Jio Infocomm chairman Akash Ambani said their satcom services will be able to provide connectivity to all the remote areas of the country, including previously inaccessible terrains.

However, it will be some time before Jio and Bharti get to slug it out in the segment as they await spectrum clearances from the Ministry of Communications, which is in two minds about allocating the radio waves or auctioning them.

Also waiting in the wings are SpaceX's Starlink backed by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos's Project Kuiper.

Jio has partnered Luxembourg's SES to
access medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology to offer "unique Gigabit, fibre-like services from space".

Airtel's OneWeb uses low earth orbit technology. It has merged with France's Eutelsat and will operate commercially as Eutelsat OneWeb.

VIL plans

Telecom operator Vodafone Idea (VIL) will make significant investments to roll out 5G network and expand 4G coverage in the coming quarters, Kumar Mangalam Birla said at the congress on Friday.

Birla is the chairman of Aditya Birla Group, which is one of the shareholders of crisis-ridden VIL. The comment assumes significance as VIL has been battling financial woes.

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