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Brookfield, a trusted partner of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, has struck a massive deal worth Rs 16,500 crore. The Canadian multinational company, known for its expertise in telecom infrastructure, is set to acquire 100% equity interests in the India business of American Tower Corporation (ATC), a significant player in the telecom tower industry.

Brookfield’s Expansion in Telecom Tower Space

The deal positions Brookfield as the largest telecom tower company in India, with approximately 253,000 towers. This move comes as Brookfield aims to expand and enhance its existing telecom tower portfolio in the country. The acquisition allows Brookfield to offer a broader range of solutions to its customers and partners.

Strategic Impact on Vodafone Idea

The transaction holds strategic significance as it involves the exit of ATC India after 17 years, primarily influenced by the challenges faced by its key client, Vodafone Idea. The struggling telecom operator has been dealing with operational and financial difficulties, leading to the loss of its major partner. Brookfield, with Reliance Jio as its anchor client, is positioned to address the challenges previously faced by ATC, particularly concerning its exposure to Vodafone Idea.

Brookfield’s Commitment to Digital Connectivity

Arpit Agrawal, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure for India & Middle East at Brookfield, expressed the company’s commitment to empowering digital connectivity in the region. Through strategic acquisitions like ATC India, Brookfield aims to play a pivotal role in transforming the telecom infrastructure landscape, ensuring enhanced connectivity solutions for the Indian market.

As the telecom industry undergoes significant shifts, partnerships and acquisitions, such as the one between Brookfield and ATC India, are reshaping the competitive landscape, ultimately contributing to the advancement of digital connectivity across the country.

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In the Future of Communication, Jio Takes the Lead

In a bold move set to reshape the telecommunications landscape, Jio is marking its presence in the skies, heralding a new era of non-terrestrial network services. Speaking at the seventh India Mobile Congress (IMC), Mathew Oommen, President of Reliance Jio, shared how satellites have evolved from mere backhaul systems to functioning as “base stations in the sky.” This transformation is enabling satellite communications to coexist harmoniously with terrestrial mobile technologies.

Redefining the Satellite Spectrum

Traditionally, satellites were employed for backhaul services. However, Oommen highlighted a recent shift where satellite spectrum is now serving the same devices and customers as terrestrial spectrum. This evolution has sparked a debate within the telecom industry about the allocation of satellite spectrum.

Diverging Views on Satellite Spectrum Allocation

During the last consultation process by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in June, tech giants like Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and others opposed the auctioning of satellite communication (satcom) spectrum. On the other side, telecom operators had differing opinions, with Bharti Enterprises advocating for allocation while Reliance Jio pushed for auctions.

Jio’s Stand: Consistency in Spectrum Policy

Mathew Oommen expressed his view that if satellite spectrum serves the same purpose, targets the same devices and customers, and adheres to the same standards, it should follow the same spectrum policy, regardless of whether it’s terrestrial or satellite-based. In this context, he argued for auctions.

Leveraging Spectrum for Progress

Oommen emphasized that as a nation, it’s essential to make decisions that align with India’s progress. India, he pointed out, is no longer a Tier-II nation and should have forward-looking policies for progressive technologies.

Empowering Remote Areas with Universal Service Obligation (USO) Funds

In response to questions about providing affordable satcom services to remote areas, Oommen suggested tapping into the government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. This fund, funded by a universal access levy on telecom providers, is currently underutilized. Oommen recommended reallocating these funds to not only erect telecom towers but also to provide subsidies to those who can’t afford digital transitions, thus promoting the Digital India vision.

The Satcom Race Heats Up

Reliance Jio, along with Eutelsat OneWeb, has secured the license to offer satellite-based broadband services in India. As the race in satellite communications intensifies, Jio is ahead in demonstrating its Jio SpaceFiber service. This service offers India’s first satellite-based gigabit-speed broadband to previously inaccessible regions. Additionally, Bharti Airtel-backed Eutelsat OneWeb is set to introduce its satellite communication services in India.

Cutting-Edge Advantage

Oommen believes that leveraging the satellites of Luxembourg-based SES gives Jio a significant edge. This advantage lies in the utilization of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, which offer broader coverage with only eight to nine satellites, unlike the hundreds required by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems.

In this rapidly changing landscape, Jio’s transformation into a non-terrestrial network player is set to pave the way for innovative solutions in the world of communication. As satellite technology continues to evolve, Jio stands ready to shape the future.

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Leading the Satellite Communication Revolution

Jio’s foray into satellite-based communication marks a significant leap in bridging the digital divide and ensuring connectivity to remote and underserved areas. The use of satellite spectrum has transformed from being solely a backhaul solution to becoming a key component in delivering reliable, high-speed broadband services.

A Progressive Spectrum Policy

One of the most prominent discussions in the telecom industry revolves around the allocation of satellite spectrum. This valuable resource, primarily used when satellites are in orbit, has been a subject of debate. While tech giants and satellite providers argue against auctioning satcom spectrum, telecom operators remain divided on the issue. Jio’s stance calls for consistency in spectrum policies, advocating for auctions if satellite spectrum serves the same purpose as terrestrial spectrum.

Empowering Remote Areas

Jio’s commitment to providing affordable satcom services to remote regions is underscored by its proposal to leverage the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. This fund, fueled by a universal access levy, presents a substantial opportunity to expand digital accessibility. By reallocating these funds, not only can Jio extend its services to underserved areas, but it can also ensure that the Digital India vision becomes a reality.

The Satellite Race Continues

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has granted licenses for Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Services (GMPCS) to both Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Space, setting the stage for an intense competition in the satellite communication sector. Jio’s recent demonstration of its Jio SpaceFiber service has shown the promise of satellite-based gigabit-speed broadband, even in regions that were previously inaccessible. Bharti Airtel-backed Eutelsat OneWeb is also gearing up to introduce its satellite communication services in India.

Jio’s Cutting-Edge Advantage

Jio’s strategic partnership with SES, a Luxembourg-based satellite telecommunications network provider, offers a unique advantage. By deploying Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, Jio can achieve extensive coverage with just eight to nine satellites. This stands in stark contrast to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems, which require a significantly larger constellation to achieve similar coverage.

As Jio continues to make strides in satellite-based communication, it sets the stage for transformative changes in the way India and the world connect. The evolving satellite technology landscape presents opportunities for Jio to lead the charge in ensuring connectivity, even in the most remote corners of the country.

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A visionary move that could transform the way India connects to the world, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is now set to launch its satellite broadband service, JioSpaceFiber, akin to Elon Musk’s Starlink. This innovation promises to provide high-speed broadband services to previously underserved regions within the country, expanding internet accessibility and ushering in a new digital era. During the recent India Mobile Congress, Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, showcased a demo of the upcoming satellite-based internet service to none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

The Digital Revolution Continues

Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest individual, has been at the forefront of revolutionizing internet access in India through Reliance Jio. Over the years, Jio has introduced a range of products aimed at making fast and reliable internet accessible across the nation. To address the challenge of bringing JioFiber connectivity to remote and inaccessible areas, Mukesh Ambani’s latest announcement of Reliance Jio AirFiber is already making moves.

JioSpaceFiber: Bridging the Connectivity Divide

Now, the spotlight is on JioSpaceFiber, India’s first satellite-based giga-fiber service, poised to provide high-speed broadband access to areas that were previously beyond the digital reach. In a significant demonstration of the service’s capabilities, Akash Ambani introduced JioSpaceFiber to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Mobile Congress.

“Jio has enabled millions of homes and businesses in India to experience broadband internet for the first time. With JioSpaceFiber, we expand our reach to cover the millions yet to be connected,” Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, stated. “JioSpaceFiber will allow everyone, everywhere, to fully participate in the new digital society with gigabit access to online government, education, health, and entertainment services,” he added.

Pioneering Satellite Technology

Jio has entered into a strategic partnership with SES, a global leader in satellite-based connectivity, to access cutting-edge medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology. This partnership will enable Jio to harness the unique capabilities of SES’s O3b and the new O3b mPOWER satellites, making it the sole provider of truly transformative Gigabit, fiber-like services from space.

Reliance Jio’s innovation promises to deliver scalable and affordable broadband connectivity throughout India, with a level of reliability and service flexibility that is unparalleled in the industry. With JioSpaceFiber, India is set to leapfrog into a new era of digital inclusion, and the world is eagerly watching as this transformative journey unfolds.

Connecting the Unconnected

Reliance Jio’s remarkable journey continues with JioSpaceFiber, addressing the digital divide and creating opportunities for millions to connect, learn, and thrive in a more connected India. As the country stands on the cusp of this groundbreaking technology, it’s evident that Mukesh Ambani’s vision for a digital India is becoming a reality.

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