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Reliance Industries Ltd.’s telecom unit Jio, which bagged nearly half of all airwaves sold in the government’s recent wireless spectrum auction to roll out 5G services with bids of more than ₹88,000 crore, plans to start rolling out its 5G services in October.
Speaking at Reliance Industries’ 45th Annual General Meeting, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio will roll out 5G services across India by December 2023.
“To build our pan-India true 5G network, we have committed a total investment of ₹2,00,000,000. Jio has prepared the fastest and most ambitious 5G rollout plan ever for a country of our size. Over the next two months. This means we will be launching Jio 5G in several key cities by Diwali, including the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata,” he said.
Mr Ambani said the company was working with Google to introduce an “ultra-affordable” 5G smartphone, without giving any further details.
“To get to the mass market of 5G, a sub-$100 phone is essential and Jio is well positioned to bring 5G to the masses,” said Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint.
Mr. Ambani said that Jio’s digital service offering has seen significant progress with a pan-India fiber optic network of more than 11,000 kilometers, and said Jio’s goal was to help lift India’s global ranking in the top 10 fixed broadband deployments.
Announcing the launch of JioAirFiber, which would allow customers to enjoy fiber-like data speeds over the air without any cables, he said Jio has developed the JioAirFiber Home Gateway, a wireless, simple solution for a single device to have a Wi-Fi hotspot. in a home that would be connected to ultra-high-speed internet using 5G.
“With a single JioAirFiber device, it will be really easy to quickly connect any home or office to gigabit internet. Thanks to the simplicity of JioAirFiber, hundreds of millions of homes and offices can be connected to ultra high speed broadband in a very short time. Due to this, India can rank among the top 10 countries, including in fixed broadband,” he said.
Jio’s ambitious 5G plans are in line with the company’s broad strategy to disrupt the telecom market with cheap data plans that sparked a price war in 2016 and forced rivals including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to cut their tariffs or risk losing market share. .
Mr Ambani also said RIL would spend ₹75,000 crore to expand its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) capacity and reiterated plans to invest ₹75,000 crore in the new energy business.
Mr. Ambani reiterated that Reliance’s capital allocation and financial framework was based on capturing opportunities in identified growth areas while maintaining an optimal capital structure and excellent investment grade rating. He also explained the company’s global ambitions to become a major player in international markets.
In his New Energy business, Mr. Ambani said Reliance will set up a new Giga Factory for power electronics.
“Affordable and reliable power electronics are a critical part of the entire Green Energy value chain. Design and manufacturing capabilities in power electronics and related software systems will be integrated with RIL’s capabilities in telecommunications, cloud computing and IoT platform,” he added.
Apart from solar and hydrogen, Reliance is also actively pursuing bio-energy, offshore wind, geothermal and other non-conventional forms of renewable energy and will continue to expand its manufacturing ecosystem accordingly, he said.
RIL’s New Energy venture would help India become a clean energy exporter, Mr Ambani argued, adding that it would make India a world leader in new energy production and a “credible alternative” to China.
Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures announced that this year, Reliance Retail will enter the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business with the aim of “developing and delivering high quality and affordable products.
It also announced the launch of a WhatsApp chat service for placing orders on JioMart. Meta, a Facebook group company and Jio Platforms on Monday introduced the first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp where consumers can shop from JioMart within a WhatsApp chat.
A global first, JioMart on WhatsApp will enable users in India, including those who have never shopped online before, to seamlessly browse the entire JioMart grocery catalog, add items to cart and make payment to complete their purchase – all without leaving WhatsApp. chat.
Mr. Ambani also announced that his youngest son, Anant Ambani, has taken charge of the new energy business.
“Reliance’s next-generation leaders are confidently taking the reins across businesses. Akash and Isha have taken on leadership roles at Jio and Retail, respectively. Anant joined the New Energy business. They are part of a young team of leaders and professionals who are already doing amazing things at Reliance,” Mr. Ambani said.
All were mentored daily by RIL senior executives, he added.
Jio has partnered with Qualcomm
The company has tied up with Qualcomm to develop 5G solutions, Mr. Ambani said. He said the firm is working with Google to develop ultra-affordable 5G smartphones and Google Cloud.
It has now partnered with Qualcomm to develop a 5G solution for India that can be rolled out to the rest of the world, he said.