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Reliance Jio fired up as Mukesh Ambani joins hands with Satya Nadella’s Microsoft to challenge Jeff Bezos in India

Prabhjote Gill | Business Insider India | Aug 12, 2019, 02.34PM IST
  • Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio Fiber will be launching on 5 September 2019 bundled with a bunch of add on features like ‘First Day First Show’ and subscriptions to OTT services.
  • Ambani also plans on launching Jio’s own IoT network to connect 1 billion devices across India.
  • Jio will also develop and launch India’s largest blockchain network to keep Indian data within Indian borders by installing 1000s of nodes across the country.
  • Microsoft is also partnering with Reliance Jio to bring Azure, Azure AI and Microsoft 365 to Indian data centers.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries announced a whole host of upcoming services from Reliance Jio.

uring the Reliance Industries annual general meeting, Ambani shared that Jio has over 340 million users with 10 million more being added to the tally every month as the company inches close to hitting the 500 million mark.

He also pointed out that the investment cycle for Jio is now complete and going forward, the company only needs marginal investments in terms of access in order to grow its capacity in order to meet demand. Ambani even asserted that Jio is 5G ready today.

Making Indian businesses global

Jio is partnering with Microsoft to bring the Azure platform to Jio data centers across the country. Using Microsoft’s Azure AI, Jio will be able to develop India specific solutions like speech recognition and natural language understanding for Indian languages and dialects.

"Our long term partnership combines the power of Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 with Jio’s connectivity and digital solutions, which are among the most used and fast growing in the world," said Satya Nadella in a statement during the event.

Cloud computing and challenge to Jeff Bezos

The partnership between Jio and Microsoft is a challenge to Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the country that caters to some of the big wigs in the country like Tata, Hotstar, Wipro and Oracle.

Instead of trying to win over the big conglomerates, the partnership will cater to small and medium businesses instead and help them accelerate their digital transformation.

To support that mission, the service will be free for Indian technology startups and small businesses can avail it at a nominal price of ₹1,500, which is one-tenth of its official cost.

Launching its own Internet of Things

With a revenue opportunity of ₹20,000 crore, Reliance Jio is planning to set up its own Internet of Things. With 2 billion devices expected to go digital over the next two years in India, Jio wants to be the connectivity provider for at least half of them.

Jio’s pan India Narrowband Internet of THings (NBIoT) will launch on 1 January 2020 residential, industrial and public devices.

Blocking chain and keeping Indian data in India

Over the next twelve months, Jio plans to install one of the largest blockchain networks in the world that will include throughs on nodes that be operation when the services takes off.

Ambani states that this is a brand new data model for Indian data, specifically customer data. "Data is wealth, and Indian wealth must remain in India," he said explaining why data needs to be owned and controlled by Indians and not by corporates — especially not global corporates.

Faster speeds with EDGE computing

EDGE computing is bringing connectivity nodes as close as possible to the user. Over the next couple of months Jio is setting up a pan India EDGE computing and content distribution network starting will thousands of nodes.

Ambani explains that, "The next frontier of content is immersive," which is why EDGE computing is important for bringing in faster downloads and faster response times.

With EDGE, India and its 1,600 cities will be among the first in the world for Indian residents to experience AR, VR and MR on Jio Fiber, according to Ambani.

Taking Jio Fiber Live

Reliance Jio has been testing its optical fiber broadband network since August last year. Spanning over 1,600 towns, the service generated over 15 million registrations and trials are already underway in 500,000 homes.

And now, it’s going to launch commercially on 5 September 2019 across India on Jio’s three year anniversary with the aim of reaching 20 million households and 15 million businesses.

The welcome offer for Jio Fiber includes an HD 4K television set as well as an HD 4K set top box that supports gaming. The aim is to launch the company’s first multi-player gaming platform at zero latency.

Jio also demoed its new mixed reality (MR) headset, which is a combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), that its building with the help of one of the startups under its umbrella.

OTT services and new movies at home

A subscription to Jio Fiber is also going to come bundled with subscriptions to most of the leading premium OTT applications. Ambani said the aim is to make the subscription model more convenient for users so that they don’t have to pay and sign up for multiple services separately — they just get them all through Jio.

Users also won’t have to go to the cinema to watch movies anymore. With Jio’s ‘First Day First Show’ feature, Jio Premium members can watch movies on their Jio Fiber connections on the same day that those films hit the theaters. This service won’t be available immediately but Ambani stated that it should be live by mid-2020.

Back to basics

Aside from the bells and whistles, Jio Fiber isn’t skimping on the basics of a broadband connection. The lowest of its plans will start at speeds of 100Mbps and go all the way up to 1Gbps.

And, like Jio undercut its competition’s prices when its 4G network went live, its broadband services plans to do the same with prices starting at ₹700 per month and keeping voice calls free forever.

That being said, Ambani also said the plans offered by Jio can also go up to ₹10,000 per month.

Jio’s also making international calling cheaper by setting the default tariffs to one tenth of the industry average and, for US and Canada exclusively, users can purchase unlimited calling at ₹500.


See also:
Mukesh Ambani's speech at the Reliance Industries AGM had ten big takeaways


Mukesh Ambani's Jio Console is trying to beat Google Stadia — and he's got a head start

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