Sunday, December 16News That Matters

Reliance Jio considering use of satellites to provide 4G LTE connectivity in remote areas

Reliance Jio, a Mukesh Ambani owned telecommunication service provider, is reportedly planning to provide 4G LTE-based voice and data services in remote locations through satellites. The telecom operator has reportedly awarded a contract to the US-based Hughes Communication, a satellite-based internet and television service provider – according to a news report in the Economic Times. Jio would use capacity from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and technology from Hughes to provide 4G LTE connectivity in remote locations, the report added.

According to the report, Reliance Jio is planning to use satellite-backed connectivity solution in around 400 remote locations to provide 4G LTE voice and data services. These locations include hilly regions and islands where providing connectivity using a conventional tower-based set-up is difficult due to geography and terrain limitations. Therefore, the satellite-based connectivity solution would not only provide voice and data connection, but also help the company save on cost while expanding its 4G LTE footprint and providing last mile connectivity across India.

Reliance Jio is not the first operator to provide connectivity solution in such remote places using satellite-based solution. Other incumbent operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL also have been using this technology. However, Jio would be the first to provide high-speed data connection based on 4G LTE network, along with voice services. Other operators mostly provide only 2G and 3G services.

Citing Shivaji Chatterjee, SVP & Head – Enterprise Business, Hughes Communications India, the report adds that in partnership with Hughes, Jio is currently setting up earth stations at two locations — Mumbai and Nagpur. It will also set up two mini hubs in the hilly region of Leh and island terrains of Port Blair for satellite backhaul-based services that will provide connectivity in areas, especially in the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Andaman Nicobar, and Lakshadweep.

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